Soho Faces features an integral part of the portrait photography of John Claridge, an enduring and influential figure in British photography for over half a century.
These images trace the landscape of Soho through the faces of characters who have frequented two of its key institutions, Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club and the French House. Claridge’s lens appears to record inner stories even as it captures the sitters’ faces. These works, spanning 1960s – 2005, are brought together in a setting that is a Soho character itself. The House of St Barnabas has stood unmoved at the corner of Soho Square since the 1700s as if propped up at the bars these individuals often took up residence.
Claridge’s work is a documentary testament to the laughter, fragmented stories and jazz music that were the soundtrack to his subjects’ lives. Without seeking to eulogise them, he has allowed them to assert their rightful place in Soho once again. These timeless images remind us that there has always been something of the halfway house about Soho, where people pass through but leave an indelible trace of themselves. As the streets and soundtrack of Soho are rapidly transformed, Claridge’s work takes on a new and deeper significance.
We will be opening the show for non-member viewings following 21st June.
Please contact [email protected] for more information and viewings.
Featured: Chet Baker by John Claridge 1986. Image credit: John Claridge.
John Claridge was born in the East End of London in 1944 and began his career as a leading advertising and magazine photographer in the 1960s. Alongside his commercial work, he has produced countless personal projects focusing on the people and places that have played a significant part in his life, from the East End to India via the United States and modern-day Cuba. He currently lives and works in France.