the art of decadence: in east london

by Joe Thorne

I visited three exhibitions in a relatively small area of East London on Saturday.

The first, at Foto 8, was of photographer Robert Gumpert’s portraits from inside San Fransisco’s jails.  In their own right, the pictures are compelling: dark and confrontational.  Most prisoners square up to the camera blankly, bare chested and thick-muscled.  Tattoos loop around their arms and throats.  But if the pictures are dark, the social reality which they represent is darker.


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