In an industry so obsessed with youth and beauty, Patti Smith, widely regarded as the ‘Godmother of Punk’, made the bold statement that it is not about what you look like, but rather who you are. She didn’t care about clothes or makeup or brushing her hair, and her resistance to conforming to society’s ideals of how women should look made her an icon for generations of girls. She made it clear that being an artist should be about your art, and not any other external factors. Her attitude of “like me for who I am or leave me alone” embodies what the punk genre is all about. Punk is a state of mind, a feeling of freedom. It’s about not playing by anyone else’s rules.

Danziger Gallery in NYC is displaying early photos of Patti Smith, with her former partner Robert Mapplethrope until May 4.

Photo via  the Danziger Gallery website.