Daily Archives: 15 aprile 2014

PORTRAITS OF LONDON YOUTH OF 70s AND 80s: A NEW BOOK BY DEREK RIDGERS

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On Jan. 13, 1973, Derek Ridgers remembers pushing his way through the crowd at Eric Clapton’s Rainbow Concert, climbing over the fence and joining the press to photograph the rock legend. At the time, Ridgers worked in advertising and was surprised how easy it was to fake being a press photographer. He quickly realized a camera could help him approach his heroes and idols; he has been photographing famous bands and musicians ever since.

Ridgers, however, didn’t focus his camera solely on the stage. In 1976, he turned his attention toward another group of people: a loud and energetic crowd of punks. “What could be more photogenic then punks in clubs?” he asked. His new book, 78-87 London Youthfull of portraits of painted faces, colored hair, tattoos, and eccentric clothing, proves his point.

From 1978 to 1987, Ridgers would go out up to three times a week to Billy’s, Blitz, Taboo, Electric Ballroom, or other iconic clubs based in East or North London. Often, he hitchhiked back to his home in West London, returning in the early morning, just hours before having to start his day job. Although the photographs make him seem as though he was in the heart of the punk scene, Ridgers hardly drank, didn’t touch drugs, and was alone observing from the sidelines. He stood quietly in the shadows of the clubs with a notebook and camera, sometimes waiting hours before taking a shot. He only wanted to photograph people he was drawn to and would make sure to position him self strategically next to an interesting backdrop or hallway.

Derek Ridgers official site

Buy ‘LONDON YOUTH 78 – 87’ on Artbook.com

Slate.com

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