Moby performs live at his photography exhibition in Milan

A couple of days ago I attended Moby’s music performance, featuring his backup singer Joy Malcolm and violin player Liz Chi Yen Liew, at Antonio Colombo Arte Contemporanea gallery in Milan.
Moby’s performance was held in the context of his photography exhibition “Destroyed,” which also happens to be his new album’s name – being in fact the related picture his album’s cover artwork. The exhibition will be traveling around Italy, a good way to promote both his new album and his photography book, that was recently published by Damiani Editore, a well-known fine art publishing house from Bologna, Italy. Apparently, the exhibition is also a prelude to his Italian tour that will take place during the summer.

The photography exhibition at Antonio Colombo gallery shows 26 mounted prints of Moby’s wanderings around the globe. The pictures, from their grainy, saturated appearance, were taken with what I guess is an average-quality digital camera, and they show airports, backstages, traveler’s nowhere lands, and a perceptible loneliness. Moby’s eye is not that of a skilled, image-experienced photographer. He shoots as if (as if?) it were his very first time, and he gets attracted to all those optical wonders that make us love the camera from the first time we hold it in our hands: fogs and hazes, oversaturated lights, dark spots, reality made a graph, its lines and intersections finally perfect when framed in our viewfinder, but still the outside world – so infinitely displacing – in our minds. His poetics are simple and already seen, his captions an example of naiveness, and not always in the most moving way. But still I understand him. And after all, they just look so much like his music, the same small/big feelings. They’re not worth much by themselves, but they complete his “oeuvre,” they fit in. They were taken by Moby, nobody will ever forget that when looking at (and buying, above all) them. So they serve their purpose.
After his music performance (you can watch some excerpts in the videos at the bottom of this page), Moby signed copies of his photographic book and of his CD (also on vinyl). Before leaving the gallery, Moby headed to a portrait of himself, a painting by Fulvia Mendini that was part of a parallel show set in a tiny separate room, and added his graphic touch to it (picture on the right).
And, as you can see for yourself below, here’s my own Moby signature. I’m kind of broke at the moment so I had him sign a postcard of the exhibition. I then asked Joy Malcolm, his backup singer, to sign it, too, and she almost overflowed on Moby’s shy, fragile drawing. Joy really is a force of nature. Before the book signing, right after the show, when me and my friends went to compliment her, she grabbed me and hugged me tight, still panting and sweating from her performance, and after a few loud laughters, she admitted she was wearing somebody else’s clothes, since Milan’s unexpected monsoon rains and haling that day had caught her off guard, and on top of that she had forgotten her other clothes at the hotel. We love you, Joy!

And here’s some excerpts from Moby’s performance, enjoy!

Moby and Joy performing “Natural Blues” from his 1999 hit album “Play:”

Moby and Joy performing a cover song of “Whole Lotta Love,” become famous with Led Zeppelin, in its 1962 original version by bluesman Willie Dixon (the song was at first called “You Need Love”):

And a few seconds of Moby and Joy Malcolm in their own version of “Purple Haze” by Jimi Hendrix:

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  1. Andrew Shers wrote:

    Hi, I have been to a Moby’s concert in Kiev last Friday (10June)- good show! By the way, violinist’s name Liz Chi Yen Liew ( Has been performing with Moby for over decade now.
    Great stuff!

  2. admin wrote:

    Thank you for the very useful info! I’m going to add her name to my post.