As the house photographer of The Riviera, International Amphitheater, and Metro, Koress frequented the stages and backstage of shows many try so hard to remember. His images present a unique focal point, often from the band’s point of view. Koress, physically on stage photographing The Dead Kennedys, The Ramones, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Replacements, or on a catwalk dangling above Naked Raygun, captured the most punk of rock moments of Chicago’s music scene during that time. Essentially a part of many performances, Koress was welcomed into the action on and off the stage often inviting musicians back to his studio.
Steven Koress’ passion of the music industry began when dealing vinyl at age 17 working for Hear Hear Records and later Sound Unlimited. Two degrees from the American Academy of Art (illustration) and The School of the Art Institute gave Koress a refined approach to capture the rawness of the scene in which he became deeply entrenched. His photographs have largely been kept tucked away for the past 20 years but a rare few were appear on the jackets of Sonic Youth and Naked Raygun albums. This is the first time the public will be able to view the incredible moments of such a pivotal time in Chicago’s own punk history—when raw turkeys were cut up with a chainsaw on stage and propelled into the audience.