James Hyman is pleased to present an online exhibition of some of Tony Ray-Jones most celebrated photographs. These black and white darkroom prints were made shortly after Ray-Jones premature death and provide an over-view of many of his most famous images. They were printed by his friend John Benton-Harris for a special portfolio in 1975.
Tony Ray-Jones (1941-1972) remains one of the most influential and best-loved British photographers of the last half century. Although he died very young and his photographic career spanned just over a decade, Ray-Jones produced a richly diverse body of work that celebrated the melodramatic nature of the human character- synthesizing a personalized mélange of compassion, curiosity and irony.
Viewed from the perspective of 2020, Ray-Jones presents a world that is both familiar and almost un-recognisable. As Ray-Jones, himself, explained to Creative Camera in 1968:
"I have tried to show the sadness and the humour in a gentle madness that prevails in a people. The situations are sometimes ambiguous and unreal, and the juxtaposition of elements seemingly unrelated... This, I hope helps to create a feeling of fantasy. Photography can be a mirror and reflect life as it is, but I also think that perhaps it is possible to walk, like Alice, through a Looking-Glass, and find another kind of world with the camera."