Raj Prem began his career as a music journalist, but it was a chance conversation in 1996 with Theron Kabrich, one of the San Francisco Art Exchange (SFAe) gallery owners, that inspired Prem to track down and formally exhibit works that had never previously been considered “art”. His first show – which sold out on opening night – featured work by the renowned photographer Gered Mankowitz who followed the 1965 U.S. Rolling Stones tour.
That initial success inspired Prem to seek out and uncover as many images of iconic bands such as Rolling Stones and The Beatles that he could find. Some of his curated exhibits include photographs by rock photographers Robert Freeman, Michael Joseph, Iain Macmillan (the photographer behind the bestselling Abbey Road collection), Michael Cooper, Peter Webb, Jerry Schatzberg, Dominique Tarlê, Terry O’Neill, and Pattie Boyd (the first wife of Beatle George Harrison). They account for more than 95 exhibitions over the course of 18 years, over 40 of them curated with Prem’s associates Theron Kabrich and Jim Hartley at the SFAe gallery. He continues to work with the London-based Atlas Gallery, Snap Gallery, and Proud Galleries, not to mention galleries throughout the USA, UK, Dubai, Hong Kong, Japan, and the Netherlands.
Without Prem’s hard work and dedication, critically-acclaimed exhibitions such as the major Beatles Retrospective in London and “The Decca Years,” which illustrated the Rolling Stones’ rise from chart attractions to leaders of the counter culture movement, would not have been possible. He searches tirelessly to track down the photographers behind the photos, bringing their works of art together into a stunning and captivating collection of images.
Prem still collaborates with the owners at both the SFAe gallery and Proud Galleries in London to establish permanent collections of work. He most recently curated the highly publicized show, “Robert Freeman: Beatles for Sale” exhibition in 2013. Currently he is working on an upcoming show with SFAe, featuring the work of Pattie Boyd and her original photographs of The Beatles. Always looking towards the future, Prem remains optimistic about his exhibitions and the market for his vast collection of work, hoping to keep sharing his impressive collection of photographs with enthusiastic collectors and rock fans around the world.