decades of self portrait
Five Decades of Self Portrait includes Self Portrait Images from David Attie and from Handsworth Self Portrait (Brian Homer, Derek Bishton and John Reardon) and other self portrait projects from the Black Country with Jubilee Arts and The Public that were influenced by Handsworth Self Portrait.
It traces the influence of David Attie’s seminal Russian Self Portraits taken as part of a 1976 United States Information Agency exhibition in Kiev through to contemporary images.
Attie was the first photographer to recognise the wider potential of handing control of the moment an image is captured to the person being photographed. He died in 1982, and his images have not been exhibited since 1979 and have never before been shown outside of the US.
Curated by Brian Homer.
David Attie was a prominent photographer from the late 50s until his passing in the 80s — perhaps the last great protege of famed art director Alexey Brodovitch who also mentored Richard Avedon and Irving Penn. Attie published two books in his lifetime, 1977's ‘Russian Self-Portraits’, and 1981's ‘Portrait: Theory’ (with Chuck Close, Robert Mapplethorpe and others). Recently his work has experienced a significant revival, including the publication of the acclaimed ‘Truman Capote’s Brooklyn: A Personal Memoir, With The Lost Photographs of David Attie’ (2015).
Brian Homer is a photographer, designer and writer. He was part of the original Handsworth Self Portrait project with Derek Bishton and John Reardon in 1979, and also co-founded Ten8 international photography magazine.
He has co-curated many self-portrait photography projects with Timm Sonnenschein, Graham Peet and Brendan Jackson, including for the opening of the Library of Birmingham and as part of the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Telford. He is an active photographer on the jazz scene and is currently collaborating with the Jazz Research Group at BCU on a project exploring the everyday lives of jazz musicians and how they make a living.