|John Deakin, Francis Bacon (Vogue), 1952|
This is a terrific exhibition. I love Deakin's intense photographs of Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud, George Dyer, Henrietta Moraes and others in the Colony Room circle of 1950s and 60s Soho; oddly, his great prints look even better having been salvaged from Bacon's studio - paint stained, creased and torn.
Sacked twice from Vogue, Deakin, an alcoholic, was clearly a difficult person. Gordon Comstock's profile of him, John Deakin: Champagne and Sulphur in Soho quotes George Melly describing him as a "vicious little drunk of such inventive malice and implacable bitchiness that it's surprising he didn't choke on his own venom".
The Photographers' Gallery show includes 'rarely seen and un-shown works': it is very good.
Watch a short video pairing Deakin's less well known pictures of Genoa with Johnnie Shand Kydd's pictures of Naples: A Tale of Two Cities.
Read a review of John Muir's book of the exhibition and a review of John Muir's earlier book A Maverick Eye: The Street Photography of John Deakin.
|John Deakin, George Dyer, c1964|
|John Deakin, George Dyer|
|John Deakin, Portrait of an unknown girl in a cafe, 1960s|
|John Deakin, Francis Bacon, 1968|
|John Deakin, Francis Bacon, 1952|
|John Deakin, Lucian Freud, c.1961|
|John Deakin, Lucian Freud,1960s|
|John Deakin, Henrietta Moraes|
|John Deakin, Tony Abbro, newsagent, Old Compton Street, December 1960|
|John Deakin, George Dyer in Francis Bacon's Reece Mews Studio, c.1964|