Getty Images Archive is proud to welcome the work of John Deakin as the latest addition to our Masters and Premium Archive collections.
Considered amongst the greatest of postwar British photographers, Deakin was renowned for his penetrating portraits, haunting street scenes and striking fashion work.
Though he flourished briefly at Vogue, it was the lure of nearby Soho with its pubs, clubs and subterranean watering holes that captured his interest most. Deakin was a legendary, and often divisive, member of the quarter’s maverick crowd of artists, writers, poets and assorted characters and misfits. And as its most famous chronicler with a camera, he is inextricably linked to Soho’s bohemian heyday in the two decades following the War, in particular with the painters Lucian Freud and Francis Bacon who based some of best known work on Deakin’s photographs.
With a keen ambition to be recognised as an artist, rather than a photographer, Deakin all but gave up photography in the 1960s in favour of painting, though met with limited success. Though his archive was in disarray at his death in 1972, much has gradually been rediscovered and assembled since and with it his reputation has been properly established through books and exhibitions, including a major new retrospective of his work opening in London this week.
There will be nearly 1000 images coming online from the archive in the next few months, many of which have rarely or never been published before.
An introduction to John’s archive can be seen here.
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