Leica Camera and Nikki Sixx, bassist and founding member of MÖTLEY CRÜE and three-time New York Times best-selling author, have combined their enthusiasm for photography and rich visual storytelling with two new releases in October. Leica Camera will debut a special Leica Q Nikki Sixx Edition camera, as well as host the musician's first-ever photo exhibit, "Conversations With Angels", at the Leica Gallery Los Angeles.
Sixx's affinity for street photography is the result of his experience on the streets as a runaway and past drug abuse. Now sober seventeen years, Sixx uses his Leica cameras as tools to link his challenging past experiences with stories of hope through capturing images that speak to his strong and meaningful connections to his subjects.
"I've been a storyteller all my life — as a lyricist, an author and especially as a photographer. When I'm shooting my subjects, I'm looking to capture more than just an image. I want to tell their stories," says Sixx.
Sixx's style and method of photography are unique. He first and foremost focuses on having a conversation with his subjects and getting to know them well before he ever brings his camera out. Only once he's heard their story does he begin to capture any photographs, aiming to bring these intimate conversations to life in his photos and help to explain the lives of the people he encounters. To help tell these stories, Sixx uses various Leica cameras, including the Leica SL, Leica M and his Leica Q to photograph his subjects. Sixx attributes his particular love of the Q to its versatility. "It's not just a camera for serious work, but a camera to capture life by," shares Sixx. "I never leave home without my camera. I want it nearby in case I see something that compels me to pull my car over, or walk down an alleyway for inspiration. I love the Q because it's incredibly durable and has stuck with me through everything — a lot of wear and tear, but it always delivers sharp and poignant images."
To celebrate his dedication to photography and the role Leica plays in this creative outlet for Sixx, Leica Camera will release the Leica Q Nikki Sixx Edition, a limited-edition release of the rock star's own full-frame compact camera.
The Leica Q Nikki Sixx Edition is a rock-star take on Sixx's beloved Leica Q camera featuring a black snakeskin finish on leatherette with a laser-engraved Nikki Sixx signature. The Leica Q will also be accompanied by a black Leica leather wrist strap, an autographed copy of the tenth anniversary edition of Sixx's memoir, "The Heroin Diaries", and a black DSPTCH braided shoulder strap durable enough to withstand the tough photographic environments Sixx's frequently finds inspiration in and enjoys shooting.
The Leica Q Nikki Sixx Edition will be limited to an exclusive twenty-eight units, a number which has special significance for Sixx as he overdosed on heroin at that age and was clinically dead for several minutes which ultimately provided the turning point that lead him to commence his path of recovery.
This limited-edition camera will be unveiled on October 4 exclusively at the Leica Store LA.
In a show titled "Conversations With Angels", Sixx's most precious moments and interactions from the past decade will be displayed in an intimate series of photos depicting homelessness and drug addiction, topics that Sixx was all too familiar with before photography helped change his life. The exhibit, "Conversations With Angels", will be on display at the Leica Gallery Los Angeles October 4 through November 5, aligning with the tenth anniversary of Sixx's memoir, "The Heroin Diaries: A Year In The Life Of A Shattered Rock Star".
In "Conversations With Angeles", Sixx shows the world his photographic methodology first hand. His subjects, who he considered his angels, remind him through conversation and interaction that his life, and the decisions he makes, are important. In turn, he seeks to find the hope in his subjects to escape their own troubles and achieve a better, cleaner life.
"When I get home from shooting," Sixx says, "I look at those photos for hours. I zoom in on their eyes, their lips, and their fingers and I look for some hope. If I can find that hope then I've done them justice in my photography."
Sixx's collaboration with Leica Camera coincides with the tenth anniversary of his New York Times bestselling memoir "The Heroin Diaries" and "The Heroin Diaries" anniversary edition soundtrack album by his other band, SIXX:A.M.
On the original release of "The Heroin Diaries" in 2007, Sixx partnered with Covenant House California, Los Angeles and raised over $250,000.00 to instate a music room on the organization's campus. On occasion of "The Heroin Diaries" anniversary and his first photo exhibition, Sixx once again will support Covenant House to raise funds for a photography room and program benefitting the residents.
The Leica Q Nikki Sixx Edition is priced at $5250 and will be available for pre-order October 4, 2017 at Leica Stores and boutiques in the United States. For more information, visit www.leicacamerausa.com.
"Conversations With Angels" will be showing from October 4 through November 5, 2017 at Leica Gallery Los Angeles. For more information, visit www.leicagallerylosangeles.com. Watch Nikki Sixx's behind-the-scenes story of "Conversations With Angels" below.
Proceeds from all sales of Nikki Sixx's gallery exhibits depicting homelessness will benefit Covenant House California, Los Angeles to raise funds for a photography room and program for Covenant House residents. To find out more and support Covenant House California, Los Angeles visit www.covenanthousecalifornia.org/NikkiSixx.
Photo credit: Courtney Sixx