Day 12:01 am

  • John Deakin and further documenting of heart of town dissolution…

    Afterhours-Sleaze-and-Dignity-John-Deakin-Francis-Bacon-Robin-Muir-bookNow, has there ever been a finer photographic documenter of Soho dissoluteness than this chap (I would say gent but I’m not sure if it applies).

    Of course, it probably helps that he was part of the Francis Bacon/Colony Room crowd of folk back in the day and he was often photographing people who knew who lived and embodied a certain way of life but it’s not just that… his photographs capture a certain something, something indefinable and deeply ingrained.

    The John Deakin Photographs book (see left) was one of those that I took out from the library and just didn’t want to take back, it snuck under my skin and was something of a profound influence on Afterhours Sleaze and Dignity…

    Now, I don’t want to sound poncey but I think to a certain degree part of me tried to channel what he did in the sense of trying to capture a way of life that is inherently part of and ingrained in some people.

    I also love that he didn’t store his photographs at all well, so many of the surviving prints are torn and damaged, which to my mind just adds more to the general atmosphere and well, dissoluteness of them.


    The above Photographs book is where I first came to Mr Deakin’s photography, although there have been two more recent ones; A Maverick Eye: The Street Photography of John Deakin and the rather nicely titled Under the Influence: John Deakin, Photography and the Lure of Soho, which was co-published by Art/Books and accompanied an exhibition in 2014 at The Photographers Gallery – positioned, appropriately enough just beyond the edge of Soho.

    All three were edited by Robin Muir

    Anyway, Mr Deakin, wherever you may be, I salute you! Clink!

    Visit Under The Influence at Art/Books and at The Photographers Gallery.


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