Sumerian Comics Acquire Publishing Rights To Life Story And Archive Of Rock Photography Great NAOMI PETERSEN, Famed For Shooting Earliest Known Photos Of GUNS N' ROSES, PANTERA
May 25, 2022, a month ago
In the early 1980s, at barely 18 years old, Japanese-American female Naomi Petersen got her hard and fast start as the resident photographer for Los Angeles independent label, SST Records. From 1982-1994, Naomi would capture one-of-a-kind images of legends like Punk greats Black Flag, Minor Threat, Misfits, Bad Brains, Circle Jerks, Descendents, and The Minutemen as well as some of the earliest known photos of iconic Rock artists like Guns N’ Roses, Dave Grohl, Nirvana, Sonic Youth, Fugazi, and Pantera.
Moving from LA to DC in 1989, Naomi became a bi-coastal troubadour and continued documenting powerhouse artists during her time working at the legendary 9:30 Club. In 1994, after just twelve short years, Naomi shockingly retired from photography and wouldn’t take another photo until three years later, shooting her last known images.
“Naomi’s work is timeless and iconic. It is a true gift to all music and photography lovers around the world. Her personal story as an artistic underdog is an inspiring, powerful one that I am honored to help share.” - Ash Avildsen, Sumerian CEO
“I’ve always been transfixed by Naomi’s body of work and her dynamic style of shooting, but after learning more of her personal story and her quiet battles with mental health I believe Naomi Petersen will resonate more with current generations than she ever has before.” - Ryan Anthony Menge, Sumerian VP of Creative
2021 saw Naomi Petersen’s influence reach new heights due to her photo inclusions on Dave Grohl’s TV Show “What Drive Us,” a high-profile collaboration with street artist Shepard Fairey, and droves of SST fanatics coming back full circle to pledge their allegiance. Tragically, Naomi passed away at age 38 on June 13, 2003 and is no longer around to see the impact her photos have made to the music world. As the artists she photographed live on forever in her images so does Naomi in the memory of her works.
“When I walked into Chris Petersen’s (brother of Naomi) home in Northern California and peered into a time capsule of archives I saw a chilling glimpse of Naomi’s incredible journey and developed an instant commitment to get her story told. Ash, Ryan and the Sumerian Comics team are the ultimate partners to come in and show Naomi Petersen’s beautiful life to the world.” - Sean E. DeMott of Execution Style Entertainment
This acquisition & archive development is made possible courtesy of Punk LIfe Naomi™, the estate of Naomi Petersen, brother Chris Petersen, Sean E. DeMott of Execution Style Entertainment, Ash Avildsen of Sumerian Comics & Ryan Anthony Menge.
Future plans for Naomi’s story and archive are to be announced soon.