quattro AMICI sugli ASCIUGAMANI

 

It took long hours to decide which couple was going to pay for the late afternoon ice cream. They played several hands of briscola, exchanging secret signs, smashing cards on the towel, bursting up in collective laughs and kissing. Sweet, tender, smooth, long kisses, as long as the time a wave, born under the spell of a distant storm, takes to die on a sunny sandy beach.

In Otranto, Apulia, Italy.

THE FIRM – a photo book by JOCELYN BAIN HOGG

 

THE FIRM

Jocelyn Bain Hogg

 

“I met a few of them while I was taking fashion pictures, they were always around the models. But the truly big chance to widen my contacts was in Tenerife, Canary Islands: there were 140 of them, taking a vacation.” It seems like everything happened by chance, but Bain Hogg’s idea to talk about the English Underworld isn’t new. Since back in the 60s the Krais Family, one of the Firm pillars, a criminal organization, rose to the glossy and glamorous Vogue’s pages.

Bain Hogg found them again in the 90s, the criminals from the London’s East End, the same ones that inspired movies as Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch. He was taking pictures for Elle when he met by chance Dave Courtney, who at the time was fully dedicated to lecturing at conferences on his past life as a murderer. Jocelyn quickly understand that there’s an entire unknown world behind this man, a hidden society many people have heard about but that only a few had a chance to peep in.

“The project grew on its own. I’m a photo reporter, and while chatting, drinking and having fun I took pictures and told the life of these criminals.” Jocelyn and his camera had to be accepted in the underworld, his sincerity was the key. “I never denied myself nor tried to be different from what I’m in my world. I gave them a chance to be seen but, and that’s fundamentally important, I made them understand that I would never betray their secrets. If I had shot one of those bloody outlaw bare knuckle fights or worse, talked about one of those encounters that I witnessed but that never happened, I may not be here to talk about.” Jocelyn kept his mouth shut all the time, and so doing was richly rewarded with a continuous flow of situations and images that depicted a tr ue life in front of his Leica. “After a while everybody knew about me, but many times they weren’t even aware of my discreet presence. That’s how I gave my images such a intimate feeling.” The project lasted two years, it was mainly a good time even if some accidents happened: “Not everybody wanted to be photographed, and seeing me around with a camera was enough to start a quarrel.”

All that time and hundreds of Tri-X rolls didn’t change Jocelyn. “Maybe I’m a bit more cynical now, but I surely kept those people outside of my life: they’re criminals. Someday I might want to have a beer with some of them, but none are my best buddies. Many of my friends have been scared about my frequent interactions for the time I worked on the project, even though some saw a glamorous side. My mother, whom I dedicated the book to, never asked me a thing, but I’m sure she would have preferred me to be a fashion photographer.”

Now that The Firm is published, Jocelyn Bain Hogg is not considering going back to fashion to pay his bills. He has a couple of new projects that he is working on. The first one is about daily life in London and the second one is on women, the sweetness of women. “I don’t think I’ll invent a new way to pictures women, but I’d like to talk about them and their lives. If I approach them close enough, which I proved I can do very well, soon you’ll see something about women that you never realized existed. And from the intimacy of the picture you’ll recognize an authentic Bain Hogg”.

Michele Molinari

all images © Jocelyn Bain Hogg

 

Buy The Firm.

Buy Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, with Guy Ritchie and Jason Flemyng, DVD.

Buy Snatch, with Brad Pitt and Guy Ritchie, DVD.

 

 

the SUMMER of Louis Pastis – in PARIS

Millions of people wonder the streets of Paris every day, especially during Summer. Many come from abroad, others from the outskirts of the city.

One of them comes from the 19 arrondissement. He likes to walk and do things, his name is Louis Pastis.

Paris – C’était le MOIS de la PHOTO

– It was the Month of Photography – is a free study on Paris, done during the Mois.

The photographer, wandering the city from one exhibition to the other, shoots a not iconic yet recognizable Paris.

AMERICAN NIGHT – a photography book by PAUL GRAHAM

American Night is not about the glamorous gloom of the after hours nor the exhilarating Bright Lights Big City atmosphere. There are no lights involved, but rather a subtle therefore powerful depiction of American society as seen through the eyes of an English-born photographer now living in New York City.

Graham has wandered downtowns and residential areas alike, juxtaposing the sprawling immaculate suburbs of the American West and the rundown rat-infested neighborhoods, transmiting the disparity between social classes, the differences in their quality of life expectations for the future. Instead of focusing on the blatant differences, he develops an elegant idea that goes far beyond the perfectly balanced composition and pinpoint lighting: the selection of less-obvious images that we all encounter daily, almost subconsciously, but that few of us take notice of.

The obvious is a big house with a nice spotless car parked in front, printed in full color like a birthday party picture.

The less obvious is a solitary figure walking along a highway, looking for scraps in a garbage bin or passing by a line of car for sale that he’d never be able to afford to buy, printed like it has been washed, as if to obliterate it from sight.

The only time when solitaries figures are printed in full color, they are is in sharp crude-as-life light situation.

A powerful collection of images that brings together dreams and reality, people with a future and those with only a present.

Michele Molinari

all images @ Paul Graham

 

Buy American Night

Paul Graham has been the recipient of many awards including a Eugene Smith Memorial Followship. His work has been exhibited extensively, including at the MoMA, NY, and the Tate Gallery, London. Previously published books include Troubled Land, New EuropeEmpty Heaven and End of an Age.

FOLLOWING Garry Winogrand

I was walking along Fifth Ave and suddenly remembered some photos by Garry Winogrand.

“Photography is not about the thing photographed. It is about how that thing looks photographed.” GW

Photography booksby Garry Winogrand.
Great American photographers from the 60s and 70s: The Last Photographic Heroes.

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