Uncle Andrew and the Sixties

By April 15, 2011Uncategorized

I’ve always had a special fondness for my Uncle Andrew (my father’s half brother.) Andrew is a creative roamer who divides his time between Brighton, Paris, Sollier (Mallorca), and Asilah (Morocco.) When I was a child, I remember hearing about his latest adventures as a restauranteur, screenwriter, filmmaker, musician, photographer, etc. (There must have been a few stories dealing with his mishaps but if there were I’ve forgotten them.) The romance of Andrew was that I always imagined him doing everything brilliantly and dashingly.

In person, the first thing that strikes you about Andrew is his deep restlessness. It is almost impossible for him to sit through a meal without circling the restaurant or leaving the premises or joining a neighboring table or even offering his services to the kitchen staff. He gravitates towards corners, loves to people watch, interviews random people he meets.

All this peripatetic energy and curiosity is there in his sixties’ photographs—the unexpected angles, the feeling that you will constantly happen upon stuff if you just open your eyes and look around.

Here is Andrew on Andrew (and the sixties):

Born – England. Early childhood – rural Sussex. Expressed an interest in photography when quite young. (Birds). Left school at fifteen with no qualifications. Moved to London aged sixteen – was a bicycle messenger for a film company. I still remember every alley and shortcut in the West End through which one can – or could – manoeuvre a bicycle. Soho was then an energetic, cosmopolitan village and I grifted along on my salary of four pounds ten shillings a week. I was elevated to cutting room trainee but was fired after 18 months. Aimless, my father gave me a camera and I began shooting pictures of what I saw around me, London – 1967 onwards. I taught myself darkroom technique and adopted a simple, reportage style of shooting. I found myself photographing John Lennon, Allen Ginsberg, Francoise Hardy, Jimi Hendrix, Jean-Luc Godard and in bed – literally – with Mick Jagger and Anita Pallenberg. It was a different world, virtually no security, everyone was friendly and compliant. I developed an interesting, eclectic portfolio of pictures – the famous and the anonymous – which evolved into a small but comprehensive view of late sixties London.

Check it out: http://www.andrewmaclear.com/six.html