Rock ‘n’ Roll Got His Soul

A new art exhibit is now on view at the Mattapoisett Free Public Library. Chris Morgado is a photographer, among other things, whose primary interest is rock ‘n’ roll musicians.

            At first, he just took pictures at concerts using his phone camera, but as his age and interest increased, he moved on to taking professional shots of some pretty famous artists as well as local talents. Such names as Springsteen, Alice Cooper or Metallica may sound familiar. Morgado has given the viewer some exciting images of iconic rock stars.

            Morgado explains that he has extended family in Mattapoisett, with generations going back 120 years. Raised in Holliston, he graduated from Salem State University where he studied theater and communications and received a fine-arts degree. Presently, Morgado is the media library supervisor for WWE Entertainment, the professional wrestling empire built by Vince McMahon and based in Stamford, Connecticut.

            “Both of my parents are graphic artists and photographers,” Morgado began. “My father is also a former art and photography teacher.”

            It’s fair to say his childhood was immersed in all things visual and in creating art.

            “As a child, there was a darkroom in our basement, so I was always interested,” said Morgado, who as a teenager took his camera to punk-rock shows. But soon enough, he explained, his interests turned to other aspects of the scene. “(Photography) fell by the wayside until I realized I was too old for mosh pits and jumping off stages.”

            Despite digging the scene, Morgado would soon return to focusing with his camera.

            One can imagine how fine-tuned one’s skills have to be to set up a composition and then take that image in the nanoseconds available. Images don’t hang in suspended animation waiting. The photographer must not only prepare to shoot but be able to anticipate continuous movement, especially on a stage filled with high-energy rock ‘n’ roll musicians.

            Their constant movement is expertly captured by Morgado. He has in his skills toolbox. All he needs to produce photographic works of art.

            Looking at his pictures, we are transported to the wings of a concert stage. The air is filled with pulsing, vibrating sounds, screaming voices compounded by roaring drums and wailing guitars.

            “It’s much more like going to a sport,” Morgado said. “It’s very intense, you feel it physically.” This is not nuanced music; this is sound that dives into your body and vibrates your ribs and brain. Morgado’s photography takes you right there, sharing those captured moments in time.

            Chris Morgado’s exhibit is on view through September.

            Editor’s note: “Thoughts On,” the humor column that runs weekly in The Wanderer, is written by Chris Morgado’s father Dick Morgado.

By Marilou Newell

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