Skins & Punks: Lost Archives, 1978-1985

Photographs by: Gavin Watson

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ISBN: 9781576874738

Photographs by: Gavin Watson

OUT OF STOCK

Punk / Photography
Hardcover
10 x 10 inches
144 pages
over 150 four-color and black-and-white photographs
ISBN: 978-1-57687-473-8
Photographs by: Gavin Watson

OUT OF STOCK

Punk / Photography
Hardcover
10 x 10 inches
144 pages
over 150 four-color and black-and-white photographs
ISBN: 978-1-57687-473-8

“The world Watson depicts is so skillfully captured, giving an
undeniable pull to these pictures….”

FHM

What started off as a small collection of photographs the
14-year-old Gavin Watson would take of his family and friends in
Wycombe, middle England, in the 1970s and 80s would grow
into one of the most important and influential photographic youth
culture books of the last 20 years. Skins, published in 1994
and hailed by The Times of London as “a modern classic,” has
shown its influence in such photographers as Terry Richardson,
Juergen Teller, and Ryan McGinley, as well as pretty much every
kind of “youth” photography popular today.

Last year, having persuaded him to begin working again after
a long period of self-seclusion, VICE Books was bequeathed
Watson’s lost archives, hundreds of photos reaching deep
into the lives of the subjects of his first book. Each photograph
reveals an understanding and sensitivity that belies
the sometimes brutal subject matter.

Skins & Punks is a singular retrospective complete with commentaries
and oral histories. The stories behind the shots
are shocking, hilarious, severe, and heartbreaking, and each
gets behind what it was really like to be a rebellious workingclass
youth growing up in the 1980s. This is documentary
photography at its best, a stunningly intimate window into a
cultural movement.

“Watson photographed from the inside, the only member of
a provincial and isolated gang with a camera, only occasionally
aware that his friends were part of a larger moment….
Some of his photographs are funny, some are tender, some
are domestic. Many of them show skinheads smiling, others
display a great vulnerability: young boys struggling for their
place in an adult world. If there is aggression it is playful
and uncertain. And in the background sits an unbeautified
England of the 80s, a harsh depiction of extreme disunity.”

The Observer

Gavin Watson is an acclaimed documentary and portrait
photographer. His natural eye for a moment in time and the
stark, brutal honesty of the images he captured have made
his collection of work one of the UK’s finest documentary
portfolios. He has done work for many global companies
including Dr. Martens, and his photos have appeared in
countless music magazines, album covers, fashion bibles
such as i-D and The Face, and numerous exhibitions.

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