Photographer Danny Lyon‘s exploration of American 1960s biker culture helped to demystify preconceptions surrounding this edge of society. His photojournalism was the result of time spent immersed in the Chicago Outlaws Motorcycle Club between 1963 and 1967. Lyon was one of the first to capture his subjects from the inside rather than as an observer looking in. He participated in the biker group’s meets, races, informal gatherings and long-distance rides, travelling across the US in the process. Photographs and recordings from his four years in the Chicago Outlaws created a body of work that changed stereotypes around the culture.
“My personal practice focuses on America during the 1960s and 1970s. The works take the form of staged scenes constructed as set-builds in the UK using props sourced from here and the United States. I was drawn to this period in American history during my undergraduate studies in BA (Hons) Politics and again in my MA Photography. Its devout modernism is a particular interest, with utopian political and cultural ideals heralding some of the great liberal successes of our time (the civil rights, feminist, anti-war and free speech movements). My current long-term project focuses on the American counterculture and social protest in the years 1964-74.” – Matt Henry
The era of the 1960’s is synonymous with dramatic political and social revolution and change. This decade saw the conservatism and restrictions of the preceding post war 1950’s give way to a more radical libertine generation committed to fostering utopian ideals of free love, world peace and harmony. Fashion defined the freedom of the era in the designs of Mary Quant, with the invention of the bikini, with the rise of the hemline in the miniskirt and the reign of the supermodel in Twiggy. It was the decade that saw the Beatles and the Rolling Stones invade America, the peak of the civil rights movement, the assassination of John F Kennedy, Martin Luther King and Malcom X. Widespread protests against the Vietnam War erupted while the end of the decade gave rise to hope as the world witnessed for the first time, a man walking on the moon. This fertile environment encompassed Europe in the 1960’s – an era that was captured through the lens of Frank Habicht.
Josef Koudelka, nato in Moravia nel 1938, fece le sue prime fotografie, mentre era uno studente nel 1950. All’inizio degli anni 60 fotografò l’invasione sovietica di Praga, pubblicando le immagini sotto la sigla PP (fotografo di Praga) per paura di rappresaglie a lui e alla sua famiglia. Nel 1969, è stato insignito, anonimamente, dell’Overseas Press Club’s Robert Capa Gold Medal per le sue fotografie. Koudelka lasciò la Cecoslovacchia chiedendo asilo politico nel 1970 e poco dopo entrò in Magnum Photos. Le foto di Koudelka sono semplici ma di un intensità strabiliante.