Vice Photo Exhibition 2009


Dana Goldstein, Punk boys

 Archival Girls, Richard Kern

Archival Girls, Richard Kern

Tim Barber

Tim Barber’s purple haired muse.

Candid Reich, Nico

Candid Reich by Nico

Chubs, Jamie Lee Curtis Taete

Chubs, Jamie Lee Cuirtis Taete

Vice magazine has got some sort of reputation to live up to when it comes to its’ photos. So trendy it aches would be one way of putting it; like Dana Goldstein’s boys in rock star poses; and also a decent amount of nudity, girls snogging and some amusing commentary to undermine it all. Which this exhibition has. But it also includes some rather thought-provoking or technically impressive work too. Like Candid Reich by Nico, if true, the private photos taken by a WW2 photographer for the German army. To be honest they look pretty real. They show scenes from off duty soldiers on the road in their little round glasses and side-parted hair, mainly doing ‘off-the-wall’ type things; one guy has climbed up a tree looking a bit mental, a bunch of solders preparing a dead pig, and a man in long boots and underpants doing a heil Hitler! pose.

Tim Barber’s work both upstairs and down is compositionally beautiful, including a series of intimate portraits capturing his purple haired muse in various times and places. Martynka Wawrzyniak‘s close up of kids captures their scruffy, naughty personalities in a single shot. Unfortunately they are slightly reminiscent of the children from the recent swine flu ad campaign. But I’m sure nobody else will notice.

The Chubs series by Jamie Lee Curtis Taete is the best thing about the whole exhibition, bringing a wry smile to peoples faces as they come across five portraits of over-sized men in nude poses; one hiding his decency with a conveniently placed teddy bear, (thank god) another presented rather majestically on his toilet. This is more like the Vice we come to know and love. Bring on ironic sordidness any day.

The VICE photo exhibition will run until Wednesday 26th August at the theprintspace, 74 Kingsland Road,London E2 8DL


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