100 Punks

Johnny Deluxe (2006)


This project collects 100 photobooth photos of 'foot-soldiers' from the punk era, 1975-1984, blown up to 18" x 24". From the site:

Photobooths, we all used them as teenagers, in the age before digital cameras and phone cams, these friendly public devices were the only access a lot people had for taking pictures. Located in shopping centers and post offices,train and bus stations, even by public toilets.

The result of a few dropped in coins was a beautiful set of 4 pictures delivered in under 3 minutes (hmmmm). They were personal, to be given away to boy/girlfriends, to stick in scrapbooks , on walls and pinned to clothes. They marked new haircuts, tattooes, fights, new friendships and those great days and nights out we all had with our mates. The tiny booths crammed with as many of your fellows as possible, recorded it all, and were an event in themselves.

Never more so was this the case, than with the punk generation. Like punk, the machines were cheap, instant and easy to operate, once inside, there were no rules, perhaps the only time the subject could be in total control of the image they portrayed to the rest of the world. Each hair colour caught, new relationship captured. Self-concious, self portraits of the not so blank generation.

These images will be blown up, and turned into 18x 24 prints. They give a face to the unknown soldiers of punk rock, without who, the well known bands and clothiers, designers, djs, and general hipsters would have no meaning. They were the ground troops in a cultural war.

This year there will be more and more of the same 30th anniversary dross, put out by magazines, record and tv companies, designers and promoters that didn't exist at the time, that had no part of it, yet scramble now to take a piece of the punk pie and proclaim themselves as experts of our cultural history. The well known scenesters will be amply catered for and feted.

Read this interview with Johnny Deluxe for more information on the project.

Contributed by Brian