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“Exhibitionism” showcases Rolling Stones’ legacy

Blot+photo+by+Courtney+Kushnir.+
Blot photo by Courtney Kushnir.

Blot photo by Courtney Kushnir.

Blot photo by Courtney Kushnir.

Courtney Kushnir

I would like to preface this piece by saying that I am a huge Rolling Stones fan. If I seem biased, it’s because I am. I am the proud owner of seven band t-shirts and a set of pins showcasing their iconic logo: the stuck-out tongue. So when my dad got us tickets to see “Exhibitionism,” the traveling Rolling Stones exhibit in New York City, I knew it would be right up my alley.

The name of the attraction, a word meaning “extravagant behavior that is intended to attract attention to oneself,” according to the Oxford Dictionary, fits the Stones perfectly. The band has performed almost 50 concert tours around the world in 50 years, according to their official website, and the fact that they’re still making music astounds me. I truly do not know how Mick Jagger still moves the way he does. If a 73-year-old man dancing around a stage, playing rock ‘n’ roll and sticking his tongue out does not catch your attention, I don’t know what would.

John Pasche, a graphic designer who helped create the tongue logo, had a quote on the wall, and it explained part of the reason why the iconic symbol stuck around for so many years.

“I think [the logo] has stood the test of time because it’s a universal statement. Sticking your tongue out at something is very anti-authority, and a protest, really. Maybe young people of various generations pick that up.”

My dad, a fan of the band since childhood, especially enjoyed the sense of nostalgia that the exhibit provided. Besides the quotes from band members adorning the walls, the most informational part of the experience was the little anecdotes he would tell me about his experience as a fan. If you’re looking for  sure-fire ways to bond with your dad, I would definitely put visiting “Exhibitionism” in the top 10. (Disclaimer: your dad would have to be a Stones nerd like mine for this to be fully effective).  

As a younger fan, I enjoyed learning about how The Rolling Stones influenced culture at the time and rock music in general. There was a section that talked about the evolution of their style as a band, another about documentaries and films made about them and, my personal favorite, a section about the art made and inspired by them.

A big takeaway from the exhibit for me was a sense of rebellion against the system – I’m a big proponent of questioning authority already, but after seeing “Exhibitionism,” I felt connected with the band’s message and the revolutionary message of rock music in general.  

 

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