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Nikki Sixx, Photographer

The Mötley Crüe bassist shows off his other love: taking pictures

Nikki Sixx

Photography is Mötley Crüe bassist Nikki Sixx's secret obsession. He's been at it for a couple of decades, but only now is beginning to share his pictures – first with a book, This is Gonna Hurt: Photography and Life Through the Distorted Lens of Nikki Sixx (William Morrow), that came out in April. Along the way, he's done a lot of self-portraits. "That's because there's no one around," Sixx said during a talk at the Annenberg Space for Photography in Los Angeles on August 25th. Of the photo here, he added, "That's like every girl on MySpace."

Here are selections from This is Gonna Hurt, plus several additional photos that Sixx shared with Rolling Stone.

By Steve Appleford

Photo from This is Gonna Hurt: Photography and Life Through the Distorted Lens of Nikki Sixx. Copyright © 2011 by Nikki Sixx. Published by William Morrow.

Nikki Sixx

‘Amy in Wonderland’

This portrait of a double amputee was shot at the Funny Farm studio. “We built these spike legs for her,” said Sixx. “She had so much fun. She was so happy it was hard to get her to look sultry.”

Photo from This is Gonna Hurt: Photography and Life Through the Distorted Lens of Nikki Sixx. Copyright © 2011 by Nikki Sixx. Published by William Morrow.

Nikki Sixx

Police in Russia

Shot on the road by Nikki Sixx. "I have a camera with me every single second of the day," said Sixx.

Photo from This is Gonna Hurt: Photography and Life Through the Distorted Lens of Nikki Sixx. Copyright © 2011 by Nikki Sixx. Published by William Morrow.

Nikki Sixx

‘Mick Mars, Pittsburgh’ and ‘Tommy Lee, Cleveland’

Nikki Sixx shoots the world as it swirls around him, and that includes the members of his band of 30 years, Mötley Crüe. A lot of what he took photos of hasn't been revealed yet, said Sixx. "When we were coming up in the early Eighties and it was pretty crazy, I have all that stuff on film – everything from shooting up to fuckin' people passed out on the floor in their vomit. I got it all."

Photo from This is Gonna Hurt: Photography and Life Through the Distorted Lens of Nikki Sixx. Copyright © 2011 by Nikki Sixx. Published by William Morrow.

Nikki Sixx

‘Skin’

Sixx's portrait of a British-born man in Coney Island, which he took using his 19th-century camera and the ancient wet plate process. “He's brilliant. He's so down for the creative process,” Sixx said of his subject. “I'm trying to bring out the beauty.”

Photo from This is Gonna Hurt: Photography and Life Through the Distorted Lens of Nikki Sixx. Copyright © 2011 by Nikki Sixx. Published by William Morrow.

Nikki Sixx

Homeless Woman, Chicago

"There's something about street photography that's got me really going right now. It's the magic of people's survival. That's just touches me so much and I relate to it on some deeper level," Sixx says.

Nikki Sixx

‘Fear God’

Photographed at Sixx's Funny Farm studio in Los Angeles.

Photo from This is Gonna Hurt: Photography and Life Through the Distorted Lens of Nikki Sixx. Copyright © 2011 by Nikki Sixx. Published by William Morrow.

Nikki Sixx

Nikki Sixx’s Clothes After a Show, City Unknown

This photograph from the road was first revealed on Sixx's Tumblr on July 29th. “My Tumblr site is a hodgepodge of lots of different things — everything from [pictures taken with] an iPhone to a Leica to an old camera I bought in a thrift store . . . Whatever you have with you is the best tool.”

Nikki Sixx

‘Jackie’ and ‘Seduction’

“I don't believe I have a style, at least yet,” said Sixx. “It's much like Mötley Crüe – we never ever kept the same logo, never kept the same sound. We just live in the moment and move on, and I don't know if my photography will be any different.”

Photo from This is Gonna Hurt: Photography and Life Through the Distorted Lens of Nikki Sixx. Copyright © 2011 by Nikki Sixx. Published by William Morrow.

Nikki Sixx

‘Life’

Skull photographed at Sixx's Funny Farm studio in Los Angeles, using his 19th-century camera and the ancient wet plate process.

Photo from This is Gonna Hurt: Photography and Life Through the Distorted Lens of Nikki Sixx. Copyright © 2011 by Nikki Sixx. Published by William Morrow.

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