The Beatles Unseen – Photographs by David Magnus

Exhibition at Proud Gallery in Kensington


The Beatles Unseen – David Magnus – 1967

I do feel like I’m cheating a little posting this. I have been a huge fan of The Beatles since I was 12 years old. This was in the days of disco – as a pre teenage individual I was desperately searching for inspirational stimulus – I discovered The Beatles music through a BBC rerun of their movies. And so a journey of trawling through second hand record shops began.

I also love visiting the Proud Galleries. Their Camden venue also hosts live music events in the photo exhibition room. The Kensington Gallery is smaller, but the exhibits are always inspirational.

This particular exhibition documented the the boys rehearsing and hanging out in readiness for the historical first ever satellite broadcast – a live performance of ‘All you need is love’  

So are these good photographs in their own right, or is their value purely linked to their historical and contextual relevance? Its difficult to be subjective in this case, but perhaps its a question that doesn’t require a complete answer. The photographs are beautifully composed, artistically lit and they each capture a moment well with the expressions of each individual clearly portrayed. There are also clear moments of intimacy between the subjects, this is particularly noticeable in the shot with Brian Epstein looking down as Paul plays the trumpet. But fame plays a part in our perception when interpreting these images. The shots of the security guards enjoying their break in the canteen alongside the fab four, and John and George sharing a look at the tea table. The everyday is meeting the out of the ordinary. As an individual not aware of this event at the time, it is difficult to conceive the level of fame the these four individuals had achieved. What is clear is how iconic each image captured of them has become. This bares particular importance when we consider that this is before the digital age, where skills in creating the right shot pre production was so much more important.




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