Exhibition: The New Faces
The New Faces is a collection of images Chalkley took late last year of a group of young Mods who he first encountered at his monthly DJ night, Shake!, at The Boogaloo pub in Highgate. Intrigued by their sharp dressing and enviable dancing skills, Chalkley suggested he immortalise their look and attitude on celluloid and invited them to come to a studio shoot. "These guys are the antithesis of the all too common don't-give-a-fuck attitude of some young adults," explains Chalkley. "They're bright young folk who take a real pride in how they present themselves and they're really into their music - mainly late 50s and early 60s rhythm and blues. They're actually from varied backgrounds and different parts of the country – but their shared passion for music, dancing and looking sharp brings them together. And you should see them dance –they look good and they've got the moves!"
Here is a selection of images from the show:
Somewhat fittingly, the title of the show was suggested by none other than the Modfather himself, Paul Weller. Chalkley explains: "I'd just finished a shoot with Paul and I was showing him the contact sheet with these images. I told him all about the shoot and that I was going to exhibit the images but explained that I was still unsure about the title of the show. Paul responded with 'It's The New Faces' and that was that. It was a perfect suggestion."
The New Faces runs until 29 April at The Book Club, 100 Leonard Street, London EC2A 4RH
See more of Dean Chalkley's work at deanchalkley.com
I was lucky enough to be at the opening last night, the place was packed with achingly cool faces which made me look even more of a scruff bag than usual.
I too was at the launch night, what a party and what a crowd! A series of amazing DJ sets (all from the original vinyl 7"s of course) all witnessed variously by members of The Horrors, Romance, Klaxons, The Violets, Add (N) to X, The She Set, S.C.U.M. etc etc. Highlight for me was to witness The New Faces dancing in the basement room (so many great DJ's they needed 2 rooms to accomodate them all) with a number of their friends.
Back to the exhibition, a quick chat with Dean revealed that these are digital shots made using flash in the studio yet treated to 'retain the humanity', so without airbrushing and still 'showing all the defects.' I note the patterns of grubby footprints on the studio floors in the dance shots etc. A highlight for me, and probably missed by many as it was only projected on a small wall in an obscured part of the downstairs room, was the video footage of the subjects dancing. A rather surreal piece that, according to Dean, becomes even more so when the soundtrack can be heard. Not possible however when it became the backdrop of that great party.
Dean hosts the New Faces as guest DJ's tonight (Saturday 6th March) at 'Shake', at Boogaloo, Highgate.
Would like to recommend The Book Club.
It has a great atmosphere and always great photography on the walls.
So much hair!
Also attending the evening - actually by mistake it was really inspiring to see this intriguing photography work along with the actual models at the event - in their respectable outfits. A quick game of spot the model was fun and the casual atmosphere made the event different from other private views.
We are the mods, we are, we are, we are the mods. So good to see the new mods on show as it catapults me back to the Leeds 1960s mod scene as the cut of the clothes and slimness to the people was just so good. The mods in these images capture the elegance and coolness of the British Mod scene perfectly and the soul dance moves reinforce what happens 'out on the floor' - sheer passion for the music as well as looking good! Long may 'modernism' reign! John Barrett (photographer and author of 'Keeping the Faith'.
A fancy dress party with dance moves copied from youtube.
Alright Bob, why dont you pop down to the "Final Spin" party on the 15th and show us all your moves?
Although I'm a Dean Chalkley fan, I personally think this project is a case of good PR, resulting in hype over content. For me, the most arresting shot is the portrait of the girl. Where as the others are a bit pedestrian. I went to the opening night too and I think the show would have benefited from a different venue. The Book Club is great, but not for this. Art in bars, doesn't work.
Oh pipe down, Olivia! You are embarrassing yourself!
Couldn't agree more Olivia.
60s throwbacks. Can't see the point.
I know a few of the faces from the soul scene, and they look good on the dancefloor, but unless there is an originality in their style, why bother documenting it? There are others who look just as good but don't dress like their dads.
The name dropping of retro-bore Paul Weller is telling.
There is something inherently wrong when a scene with its roots, ideals & dictionary definition as 'working class' flaunts a it's pompous middle class poster boys as indicative of its 'Faces'. These charlatans live in homes bought by their Daddy, have double barrel surnames and grew up with nannies and public school privileges; hardly authentic. Some of their naive comments make a girl wince! When I have the luxury of working part time in retail or flogging tat online in between photo shoots and spunking my trust fund on overpriced rare 45's please pinch me! Hardly "clean living under difficult circumstances". Welcome to post-modern irony!
"That's what being in the working class is all about -- how to get out of it." - Neville Kenneth Wran
Why wasn't my comment published? Please answer - there are some extremely insulting and misguided remarks in Karen Williams's post and I think they need to be addressed.
@mike "..unless there is an originality in their style, why bother documenting it?"
Originality is over-rated. Think about literature: mostly the same types of stories, or even the same story, is told again and again. I argue that it is more about perfecting a good story, or in this case, look.
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