Paul Gorman is…

Champs, chumps + charlatans: No time like the present for John Claridge’s Soho Faces

Apr 25th, 2017

“I started taking portraits of people at The French House in the 70s when I took a picture of Gaston Berlemont. Then, while taking Spike Milligan’s portrait, we got to talking about Soho. At the time, I was living in Frith St, so Ronnie Scott’s and The French were both very familiar to us and, even then, both of us voiced our sadness at changes we saw – lovely delicatessens, independent restaurants and specialists shops closing down, all of which had been there for years.

“In 2004, I decided to document the customers at The French in earnest. For me, it was the one place in Soho that still held its Bohemian character, where people truly chose to share time and conversation, and I became aware that many I had once chinked glasses with were no longer around.

“These portraits of the regulars are a cross-section of those who sat for me, but there is no rhyme or reason to my selection.”

John Claridge, 2017

There is no time like the present for a project documenting the champs, chumps and charlatans* who have imbued Soho with its gamey character over the decades; dreaded “gentrification” in the form of drastic changes being wrought by property developers is steadily defanging the central London area.

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Before We Were Men: With David Gwinnutt, John Maybury, Ian Massey + Jeffrey Hinton at the National Portrait Gallery on March 23

Feb 23rd, 2017

//John Maybury, Crowndale Road, c. 1981. Photo © David Gwinnutt//

//Leigh Bowery, Farrell House, Stepney Green, c. 1983. Photo © David Gwinnutt//

I am one of the guests of the photographer David Gwinnutt at an event being staged next month to coincide with the opening of his forthcoming exhibition at London’s National Portrait Gallery.

Before We Were Men showcases Gwinnutt’s documentation – with hand-held camera and exclusive use of natural light –  of creative London in the 1980s. Among his subjects were the designer/performance artist Leigh Bowery, artists Cerith Wyn Evans, Duggie Fields, Gilbert & George and Grayson Perry and dancer/choreographer Michael Clark.

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Maximum cool: Paul Yule’s photojournalism casts creative figures in a new light

Apr 27th, 2016
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//Fashion designer Vivienne Westwood at Paul Yule’s studio in Berwick Street, Soho, central London, 1980//

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//Filmmaker Alex Cox directing an Oxford University Dramatic Society production of Bertholt Brecht’s The Resistable Rise Of Arturo Ui, 1975//

Here are just a few examples of the riches presented by photojournalist/filmmaker Paul Yule’s highly recommended Instagram feed @paul_yule.

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//Bow Wow Wow singer Anabella L’win and manager Malcolm McLaren at L’Escargot restaurant in Greek Street, Soho, immediately prior to the group signing with RCA Records, 1981//

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Photography in a period of transition: London’s creative community captured down the decades in David Gwinnutt’s Portraits Trouvés

Apr 22nd, 2016
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//Siouxsie Sioux, 42 Arlington Square, N1, 1982. © David Gwinnutt//

Corinne Day

//”This was taken in hospital when she had the brain tumour but oddly seems to reflect the end of that heroin chic period.” The late photographer Corinne Day, Whitechapel Hospital, east London, 1996. © David Gwinnutt//

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//Timberlina, east London 2009. © David Gwinnutt//

Photographer David Gwinnutt’s new show Portraits Trouvés at north London estate agency Currell provides documentation of the drastic transformation of our city through portraiture of some of the leading lights in arts and culture from the 80s to the 10s.

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