Gavin watson skins and punks

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gavin watson skins and punks

Skins by Gavin Watson

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Published 18.12.2018

Gavin Watson about Skinhead Music (NRK Lydverket)

Skins & Punks by Gavin Watson

Country, bluegrass, blues music. Although it is a new phenomenon, there are already grumblings that punk had sold out. Instead of killing the movement, a small subculture of bands, labels, and people begin a reinterpretation for the masses. They derive their sound from punk and rock and roll, but also from Jamaican ska and rocksteady and its English cousin, 2-Tone. The sound is the music of the working-class and becomes a voice for skinheads, the disenfranchised, and the disillusioned. Oi was political, street, punk rock and for the few years that it remained unadulterated, was the best thing to come out of England since the original British punk invasion. Through bands like Menace, Blitz, and the Cockney Rejects, Brits had the perfect vehicle to express their displeasure with the conservative British government of Margaret Thatcher; with unemployment; with commercialism and materialism; and with elitism.

I was never a documentary photographer. I had no understanding of what I had done when I was taking those pictures at 15,16 and 17 years old. I rarely use flash, I hate using flash actually. Skins and Punks was not a subject that I intentionally set out to photograph, it was my life. The images I created were down to me being a fast worker, I kept things very simple using the one camera and film, this is very much the way I still work today. In a glass cabinet there was a pair of binoculars and a camera — a Hanimax

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Pictured is Watson's friend Nev in his other friend Kelley's clothes in - Now wearing a dark trench coat and flat cap instead of boots and braces, he is friendly, quite intense, and extremely into playing Dark Souls on Playstation. Watson has also worked in music and fashion and published two other photography books.

Born and raised in a typical working class environment in northwest London, Gavin Watson began taking taking photos at an early age, documenting. I decided there and then that I was going to be a photographer. Then I went into it as only a fourteen-year-old boy could, trying to learn as much as I could from where I could. And I just kept taking photographs, mainly of my cats and my friends. Around the same time as Gavin got his first camera, he became a skinhead, immersed in immersed in the world of Madness and Two Tone. With a natural talent for his newly discovered interest, he set about photographing his family and friends, consequently documenting the social, multicultural, and musical scene that flourished around him. I was too young to have gotten into it punk, but when I was fourteen we had for the first time cultural mixes coming together to make music, based around the sixties reggae movement.

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4 thoughts on “Skins by Gavin Watson

  1. Skins & Punks: Lost Archives: Hardcover – 16 Oct Gritty yet soulful, Watson's photographs are haunting. Before Richard Billingham or Tom Hunter, Gavin Watson captured the beauty in the mundane and he did it consistently.

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