R.E.M’s Michael Stripe Pays Respect To Lebron James While Talking About His Lockdown Days

Former R.E.M lead vocalist Michael Stipe opened up about his brand new photography book named ‘Michael Stipe Damiani’ during an interview with ARTnews as well as paying tribute to the special people who had an impact on him during the lockdown such as the famous basketball player LeBron James along with other names.

As some of you might know, in addition to his extraordinary music career Michael Stipe has a longtime passion for photography and it’s widely known by his fans that he has been carrying a camera with him since his teenage years when he photographed shows featuring numerous bands such as Ramones, The Runaways and Queen.

As a matter of fact, Stipe turned his passion into a business in 2018 when he released a book of his photography named ‘Volume 1’ which included 35 photographs of legendary celebrities as River Phoenix and Kurt Cobain. The following year, a second volume named ‘Our Interference Times: A Visual Record‘ with famous Canadian novelist and artist Douglas Coupland was released as well.

Michael Stipe recently published a new book of literal and figurative portraits as the third in a series of volumes, including pictures of artists such as Tilda Swinton, John Giorno, Kirsten Dunst, and friends as well as family members in and around Stipe’s houses in New York, Berlin, and Athens, Georgia.

During a recent interview, former R.E.M vocalist opened up about his brand new book and stated that it represents his time under lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic as well as being a project in order to keep his sanity during the time he had to spend while the whole world was at their homes.

Here is what Stipe said:

It’s really about my year of 2020 under lockdown. A lot of the people in it came to me or were people I was reaching out to. Some were just incredibly inspiring like I saw them do one interview on CNN and I was like, ‘Oh my God, this person’s on fire and they’re amazing and I love them.’ There are a lot of fierce heroes of mine who are not in the book, so it’s in no way complete. But it’s a portrait of a dire situation and trying to make the most of a project to keep myself from going batshit crazy through the lockdown.”

In addition to this, Michael Stipe stated that there were a lot of people who helped him keep his sanity during the lockdown by standing up for the things they believed in such as LeBron James who supported Colin Kaepernick both of which stood up against the police brutality in the United States and the dominant racism which were the highlights of the past years after the passing of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd.

Here is what R.E.M singer said:

People like Colin Kaepernick and LeBron James… I don’t know the first thing about sports, but what I do know is how phenomenally heroic they were to put everything on the line—their reputations, their careers—in order to speak up for something that they felt really strongly about. And then there are people like Breonna Taylor, who I’ll never meet—none of us will unless we knew her before the tragic ending of her life: I’m haunted by that photograph of her receiving an award and smiling with her incredibly open, beautiful face. It broke my heart when I saw it, and it’s seared into my memory forever. She represents something very beautiful and very heroic in all of us.”

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