Contact High

Contact High


Dec 13, 2018 | 7pm

Location: BDC's St Mary's Annex, 364 E. 151st Street, Bronx (across the street from the BDC). 

Join us for an inside look at the work of hip-hop photographers, told through their most intimate diaries—their contact sheets.

Featuring rare outtakes from over 100 photoshoots alongside interviews and essays from industry legends, Contact High: A Visual History of Hip-Hop takes readers on a chronological journey from old-school to alternative hip-hop and from analog to digital photography. The ultimate companion for music and photography enthusiasts, Contact High is a definitive history of hip-hop’s early days, celebrating the artists that shaped the iconic album covers, t-shirts and posters beloved by hip-hop fans today.

Join us as journalist, author, and producer Vikki Tobak presents her new book, Contact High: A Visual History of Hip-Hop. Contributing photographers Joe Conzo Jr. and Ricky Flores will also participate in the discussion.

The book features essays from Bill Adler, Rhea L. Combs, Fab 5 Freddy, Michael Gonzales, Young Guru, DJ Premier and RZA.



VIKKI TOBAK is a journalist whose writing has appeared in The FADER, Complex, Mass Appeal, The Undefeated, Paper Magazine, i-D Magazine, The Detroit News, Vibe, and many others. Tobak is the author of Contact High: A Visual History of Hip-Hop. She is a former producer and columnist for CBS Marketwatch, CNN, Bloomberg News, TechTV and other leading media organizations. Vikki is also the founding curator of FotoDC's film program, and served as the art commissioner/curator for the Palo Alto Public Art Commission in Silicon Valley. She has lectured about music photography at American University, VOLTA New York, Photoville, Chicago Cultural Center and the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit.

JOE CONZO JR. co-author of Born in the Bronx, has been documenting the people of his native borough since the 1970s. As the first graduating class of South Bronx High School, Conzo came up as the official photographer for the Cold Crush Brothers at the dawn of Hip Hop. From the school gymnasiums to the local Police Athletic League, Conzo documented the first generation of DJs and MCs as they invented an art form that brought the creativity of the streets to the world. Joe Conzo Jr. continues to lecture, meet with young people, exhibit his work, and attend international events.

RICKY FLORES was born in New York to Puerto Rican parents in 1961. Flores started documenting life in the South Bronx after he purchased a camera with a small inheritance he received from his father in 1980. Over the years Flores freelanced for The Daily News, The New York Times, The City Sun and The Village Voice. Flores was recognized for his coverage of the attacks on the World Trade Center, and is a two-time winner of the New York Press Publishers Association for Spot News. He has a permanent installation at I.S. 206 in the Tremont section of the Bronx commissioned by the School Construction Authority, New York City Board of Education and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. Flores is currently a staff photographer at The Journal News in Westchester County, New York.

Header Photo: © Ricky Flores