Charles is best known for his documentation of the music phenomenon known as "grunge", culminating in the critically acclaimed monograph Touch Me I'm Sick (powerHouse, 2003). Peterson's photographs have graced hundreds of record covers, and appeared in publications worldwide including the Village Voice, NME, The New York Times, Mojo, People, Rolling Stone, Spin, Entertainment Weekly, The Independent, Guitar World, and Newsweek. He has two previous books on the Seattle music scene, Screaming Life (Harper Collins, 1995) and Pearl Jam: Place/Date (with Lance Mercer, Rizzoli/Vitalogy, 1997). His book of the contemporary break dancing scene, Cypher, was published in the fall of 2008 by powerHouse, and his photographs are currently featured in the Nirvana exhibit at the EMP and are in the permanent collection of the Seattle Art Museum. He currently lives in Seattle's Central District with his wife Mascha, their four year old son Felix and soon to be two year old daughter, Leica. Peterson's photographs of Nirvana were featured in the 2014 Proud Camden exhibition Experiencing Nirvana.
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