Skip to main content

Charles Peterson’s Nirvana
Charles Peterson

Charles Peterson's Nirvana, Charles Peterson

Charles Peterson's Nirvana, Charles PetersonCharles Peterson’s Nirvana
Charles Peterson
Minor Matters

Text by Krist Novoselic.


Hardcover (signed)
168 pages
228 x 311 mm
ISBN 9781735642390


For millennia, “nirvana” has been a term associated with belief systems of the Indian subcontinent. But in 1988, a band from a small coastal town in Washington state decided to create some new associations with this word . . . through their music.

Active for just six years, Nirvana left an indelible mark on the late twentieth century that remains visible today. Photographer and self-described “music fanatic” Charles Peterson, a fellow twenty-something from the suburbs of Seattle, was present with his camera as a genre took form, and his images have become synonymous with the sounds, styles, movement and attitude known as Grunge.

Charles Peterson’s Nirvana, in the tradition of many great documentary photobooks, expands beyond Peterson’s iconic images of the band seen repeatedly over the last thirty years (on album covers, in magazines, and in dozens of compilation books and exhibitions focused on this music and its birth era) to highlight gems never before published. Over a five-year photo edit, Peterson looked at each one of thousands of frames, considering what drew him to Nirvana in the first place—their music. He honed in on compositions that stimulated visceral memories of their live performances.

The resulting selection of photographs and their carefully constructed sequence mash up venues and years, suffering and the sublime, to arrive at a visual experience that one cannot help but also feel, and hear.

About the Artist
Charles Peterson is an American photographer well known for his work with the Seattle independent record label Sub Pop and for capturing the then-newly emerging grunge scene in images.

About the Publisher
Founded in 2013, Minor Matters is a collaborative publishing platform, making books through the engagement of our international audience. We highlight underrepresented voices in contemporary art, and preserve our present for the future through publishing their work. At Minor Matters, we recognize that significant art and ideas may stay on the fringes without the support of a community. Like us. With you. Everyone who buys our books in pre-sales is listed as a co-publisher—we’re making books together.