British photographer Paul Trevor has been documenting the East End for over 25 years. This book of spontaneous in-your-face portraits contrasts the Brick Lane street market with London’s money market, the City, just a mile away. Taken between 1977 and 1992, the photographer’s motivation was partly political since many were shot during the reign of Thatcher’s when she polarised debate on market forces versus community values.
Paul Trevor’s extreme close-ups, made spontaneously on the streets of east London, capture Britain’s perennial social divide. Shot during Thatcher’s reign, the imagery is as fresh and relevant today as it was then. “The idea was to say something about the two places without having to show what people did. The story would be in people’s faces. Needing a close-up approach, the project involved me in a new way of making photographs,” says Paul Trevor.
‘This series is a new twist on the street photo, but totally unlike anything I have seen before or since.’ – Martin Parr.
About the Author
Since picking up the camera at the age of 25, Paul Trevor’s photographs have been widely published in books, magazines, films, and tv. A storyteller at heart, photography offered tools which he embraced with enthusiasm. Abandoning his job as an accountant, he applied to picture-making the rapid hand-eye coordination he acquired as a teenage table tennis ace. His work was motivated by a keen social impulse and first exhibited internationally in 1978.
Eager to collaborate with others, in 1973 he co-founded the Exit Photography Group whose joint projects over a decade produced two documentary books and various exhibitions. In 1975 he helped set up the Half Moon Photography Workshop, an arts center in London’s East End where photography could be produced, exhibited, published, and debated. He co-edited its influential Camerawork magazine 1976-80. These collaborative projects compensated for his lack of formal photographic education. Today his work is in public and private collections around the world.