Horst Friedrichs Or Glory: 21st Century Rockers and the custodians / carrying forwards of myths
Horst Friedrichs Or Glory: 21st Century Rockers photography book focuses on a contemporary vintage inspired culture, one which although it arrives from a similar 1950s to early 1960s era as teds and rockabilly is possibly less well known, conspicuous or possibly easily/fully defined.
The photographs I’m drawn to in particular are the ones where there is a grand, almost mythical take on the classic British biker/rocker; a distilling, refining and carrying forwards of ton-up boy, Ace Cafe style from back when.
They put me in mind of a Morrissey-esque imaginary landscape populated by the characters of the 1964 film The Leather Boys; a subculture that belongs more to the roadside cafe than the nightclub, more a cup of hot tea than a night on the tiles.
Although these are photographic portraits of the “real” world, they also remind me of Nick Clement’s work and his simulacra of other eras (see here at Afterhours or elswhere in the ether here); as in his photographs there is something very precise and considered about the style and the details – not a million miles removed in that sense from their subcultural folklore opposites, mods, in a way.
The Rockers clothing and style is often utilitarian in purpose or origin but this sits alongside a totemic use or value of it as signifiers of a particular mindset, lifestyle and sometimes group membership.
Though, rather than mod, the contemporary rocker style shown in Or Glory may be nearer to the Japanese word otaku and its association with obsessive interest and detail…
Along which lines, visit Horst Friedrichs at fellow re-creators and custodians of past motorcyle/rocker styles, Lewis Leathers here.