Maverick Eye: The Street Photography of John Deakinby Robin Muir, Robert Muir
The reputation of British photographer John Deakin rests chiefly on his remarkable documentary photographs and portraits of the creative souls and maverick talents who haunted the pubs and clubs of London's Soho in the 1950s. Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud, Frank Auerbach, Colin Macinnes, Dylan Thomas ... these painters, poets, writers and others defined an era in the cultural life of postwar England.
Less known are Deakin's haunting evocations of life on the streets of London, Paris and Rome. Here his eye is not cold-blooded or dispassionate but rather profoundly generous, sympathetic to the chaos of postwar urban life. His pictures of dog walkers, priests, nuns and shopkeepers reveal an empathy to rival that of Doisneau and Brassai. Equally intriguing are his pictures of the relics of human activity: chalked-up children's games, graffitied messages of love or anger, and the richly textured surfaces and shapes of street signs, peeling walls, window shutters and shop-front banners.
Though a legendary drinking companion in artistic circles, Deakin was not universally popular -- the Woolworth heiress Barbara Hutton once described him as "the second nastiest little man I have ever met." Yet he was respected by all for his professionalism and his originality. After his death in 1972 his work lay neglected for a number of years. A Maverick Eye: The Street Photography of John Deakin helps restore him to his proper place as one of the UK's finest photographers.
- Thames & Hudson
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 9.74(w) x 12.06(h) x 0.87(d)
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