Leica Store City to host highly-acclaimed Bob Mazzer photography exhibition

Leica Store City to host highly-acclaimed Bob Mazzer photography exhibition

‘Clockwell’ by Bob Mazzer

From 15 February to 11 March 2016, Leica will host a selection of photographs from Bob Mazzer’s celebrated ‘Underground’ photograph collection at its gallery space above the Leica Store City at 18 The Royal Exchange. These intriguing images document daily life on the London Underground network, and were captured on the Leica M4 rangefinder camera system over four decades.

In the 1970s and 80s, late at night on his way home from work, Mazzer began photographing London commuters as they journeyed through the capital's network of tunnels. Unseen for many years, this fascinating social history offers an intimate glimpse into the lives of Londoners in pictures alive with humour and humanity.

Bob Mazzer is a social documentary photographer born in Whitechapel, East London, and considers his East End roots to be a key ingredient of his work and character. As a young photographer, Bob was part of the London scene, worked regularly for Oz and Time Out magazines, and exhibited photos at The Photographers’ Gallery, The Serpentine Gallery, The Bibliotheque in Paris and Photo Festivals in Arles and Cologne.

Mazzer did not intend the underground photos to be a ‘project’. He comments, “They were just pictures taken in an interesting environment on my journeys around London, but I always knew there was something significant and special about the images from that atmospheric location.

“Every day I travelled to King's Cross and back. Coming home late at night, it was like a party and I felt like the tube was mine and I was there to take the pictures.”

Forty years on, they are not only brilliant photographs in their own right, but give a fascinating historical record of changing times, fashions and attitudes. The exhibition photos, all taken with a Leica M4 and one 35mm lens, are beautifully printed on Hahnemuhle archival paper, so that in years to come they will provide an even more intriguing and mysterious window into the past.

With his own unique perspective, Mazzer captured a nostalgic time that many living in London will remember, but the younger generation will have never known: when the floors were still wooden, late night revellers carried glasses of beer as buskers and musicians performed in shadowy corners. The inside of the carriages reveal London's changing times, capturing a moment when the original infrastructure that had not been changed for fifty years was about to modernise.

Mazzer’s images capture the subcultures, fashion and diversity of London life; the 1980s punks and rockers in studded leather jackets, couples in love, the lonely and the dispossessed. These anonymous photos are at the same time tender and tough, captivating the viewer with a myriad of poetic moments. The anonymous people Mazzer engaged with now engage the viewer, offering captivating shots of the human condition.

Exhibition details:

Dates: 15 February to 11 March 2016
Venue: Leica Store City Gallery, 18 The Royal Exchange, London EC3V 3LP
Tel: 020 7283 0700
Opening hours: Monday to Friday, 9.00am – 6.00pm
Free entry

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