Photographer Tony Ray-Jones died in 1972 at only 30 years old. Yet in his short lifetime he was able to accrue a photography portfolio that rivals the best of them, capturing daily British life with honesty, wit and formal elegance.
Jacques Henri-Lartigue tapped into the experience of viewing a Ray-Jones work, describing the budding artist as "young, free and whimsical with, in addition, a very sound technique and a vision of fire that was full of humor, truth and a sense of poetry."
A rare selection of Ray-Jones' vintage photographs will be exhibited at James Hyman Gallery, giving millennials an opportunity to travel back to the black-and-white days of Britain's yesteryear. Rather than focusing on the landmark events of the age, Ray-Jones immortalizes the smallest of tragedies, comedies and instances of madness in daily life.
"It did not have to be heroic or poetic in any overt sense," John Szarkowski told The Guardian. "It could be on the surface as tedious or as bland as our real tedious and bland lives usually are, and the photographs might still be compelling." From parents struggling to dress their child to scantily clad townies enjoying a sunbath and cigarette, Ray-Jones' subjects are both startlingly particular and symbolic. Their stories, though not particularly out of the ordinary, become the stories of life in late 1960s and early 1970s Britain.
Enjoy a peek of Ray-Jones' work below.
"Another Country : Vintage Photographs of British Life by Tony Ray-Jones" will show at James Hyman Gallery until October 11, 2013.