Don McCullin Exhibition

Discussion in 'Films, Music and All Things Artsy' started by RP578, Feb 8, 2010.

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  1. RP578

    RP578 LE Book Reviewer

    "To mark his 75th year, Imperial War Museum North in Greater Manchester is showcasing his work."

    Audio Slideshow: Shaped By War

    McCullin is one of my favourite photographers and I still remember how much of an impression they made on me as a teenager, when I first discovered his work over twenty years ago. They don't really show it in this slideshow, but did quite a lot of stuff in N.Ireland in the early 1970s with some outstanding shots of the R Anglians in action.
  2. Like you, I have always admired his images, only saddened that he appeared to have become stuck
    unable to move on from the seventies.
    His contemporary, Philip Jones Griffiths, who lived in Vietnam for a number of years,
    is worth studying as he produced the far more comprehensive work, Vietnam Inc., now in reprint.
    Check Eugene W. Smith from WWII if you haven't as well.
    Appreciate your posting this.
  3. Wow! Some very powerful images there. Thanks a bunch for posting this, RP578.

  4. RP578

    RP578 LE Book Reviewer


    McCullin got sidelined at the Sunday Times in the early 1980's due to shift away from reportage and towards 'Lifestyle' and pretty much gave up photo-journalism till the early 1990s when he went to photograph the Kurds in the aftermath of the uprising that followed the first Gulf War. He does mainly high end commercial stuff now, so you won't really much of his stuff about.

    I am indeed familiar with the work of Griffiths-Jones and Eugene Smith. Griffiths-Jones is an especially interesting photographer because he took a different view from Capa's maxim "If your pictures aren't good enough then you're not close enough" which had become the conventional wisdom amongst war snappers. G-J seems to take a sideways, long shot at hias subject matter (the one with the GI leading a string of suspect Viet Cong who tied to ach other by the neck, is a case in point). I think he was banned from entry into the Republic of Viet Nam after the publication of Vietnam Inc.

    Bugsy, if you're not familiar with Don McCullin do yourself a favour and do a google image search for his name to see what it brings up. I bet you'll recognise many of the pictures there as they've become iconic over the years. There's an interesting write up from last year which my sister sent to me whilst I was in Afghanistan. I've tracked it down online because I remember being touched by the fact that this bloke who had seen so much conflict was now in the position of sitting on the home front worrying about one of his sons being deployed to Afghanistan as Royal Marine Reserve.
    Don McCullin - My Family Values

    As a footnote, ironically when he was doing his military service in the RAF he failed the trade exam to become a photographer because of his dyslexia. David Bailey on the other hand was an RAF phot.
  5. McCullin, Page, Burrows, just some of the names that the Vietnam War threw up. Brilliant photographers whose work will, and has, outlasted them.
  6. Mc Cullin was on John McCarthy's R4 programme on Saturday morning. He chatted about his time in the RAF and how he dislked RAF Benson so much he volunteered for a detachment to Egypt. This he claims initiated his love for travel. It would also seem that the photography of wars and famine have since caught up with him somewhat, as he sounded emotional explaining some of his assignments. As an antidote he says that he is now into landscapes, particularly around his home county of Somerset(?)
    He came across to me as a bit fond of himself; a lot of use of the 'I' word. Artists usually are of course, but for some unfathomable reason, I thought that he'd be different. Some photographer though. I intend to see this exhibition.
  7. Looks really interesting, i'm hoping to get down there this Friday.
  8. [​IMG]

    This shot will resonate for many here.. (not sure but I think it may have been taken during Op Motorman) ......according to the caption, McCullin is the guy to the right of the pig -
    " Toro, toro taxi - see you tomorrow my son !"

    This was shortly after he had been hospitalised in Cambodia having been too close to a Khmer Rouge mortar bomb. He was attached/embed with Vietnamese forces at the time.

    At some point we will find out who was actually responsible for banning him from Op Corporate. This exhibition would be worth the trip to sunny Trafford.

    He was a seasoned war snapper before he got out to Nam, unlike Tim Page.
  9. My bold - Frankly I don't know nor was I in a position to know. I was aware however that the recognised press reps at the time were drawn into an MOD pact.

    Tony Geraghty, then, 'The Times' Defence Correspondant was inveigled into the RAFVR as a S/Ldr. (and didn't he let every fcuker know his rank and status) were a part of the 'in' crowd. Max Hastings was also a part of that deal.

    I really can't imagine Mc Cullin fitting into that psyche or mindset and I surmise neither did MOD.