Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Two great skinhead photo books I highly recommend:

SKINS by Gavin Watson (ST Publishing 1994)
Born in 1965, one time skinhead Gavin Watson started taking pictures of his friends, the Wycombe skins, in the 1980s, using an Olympus OM-1 that his dad gave him. The result was this brilliant collection of images capturing the essence of skinhead culture way before it was demonized. The images are so intimate, it is obvious they were done by someone who was living it.

And the foreword is one of the best ever, here is the part of it:
"... The beauty of starting at the bottom is that you can only go up. Unless you choose to stay at the bottom of course. All I hope for this book is that it inspires. Inspires the people in it, and people like them, to do something and be something. Genius is not confined to large corporations or the educated classes. It's in us all. The odds might be stacked against you, but that's only if you play by their rules. Better to cheat, and better still to start your own game with your own rules. Even if you don't succeed, at least you'll know you tried and will have some great stories to tell your grandchildren ..."

Browsing the internet, I found out that VICE is doing a follow up book, which will be distributed by POWERHOUSE BOOKS.

SKINHEAD by Nick Knight (Omnibus Press, 1982)
This one is something like a "skinhead handbook" - what to wear, what to listen to, how to cut your hair etc ... but it's loaded with powerful imagery from the beginning of the skinhead movement. Again, very intimate pictures, great access, amazing eye. Amazing.

After paying his dues in street photography, Nick Knight moved on to become one of the best fashion photographers around. To check out his website, click here.


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