Interview: Dean Chalkley (photographer)

by Modculture 12 September, 2011

New Faces mod photography exhibition

New Faces mod photography exhibition

The current generation of mod has been captured by Dean Chalkley for the New Faces mod photography exhibition.

The New FacesNo, it isn’t a tribute to the TV talent show of the 70s and 80s, The New Faces is a forthcoming mod photography exhibition by Dean Chalkley (pictured here). Don’t blame him for the name, it was apparently suggested by Paul Weller, who was browsing through the ‘rough edit’ contact sheets. Maybe he never saw the TV show.

But he will certainly want to see the finished results. The New Faces is ‘a study of eight young modernists’, bound together by their shared passion for smart dressing, great dancing, sharp suits and R&B. As Dean says: ‘In these dark times where some allegedly find it hard to even get dressed to go to the supermarket, these kids are beacons of light, sharp dressed youths who have so much pride in the way they present themselves and live their lives.’

All the participants are in their late teens or early twenties, trying hard to be ‘faces’ on today’s mod scene. Dean first encountered them last summer when they dropped into his monthly night club in north London. They would appear, dance and, after a few visits, even DJ. He became fascinated by their moves and by their style and the idea for ‘The New Faces’ was born.

The exhibition can be seen at The Book Club, 100 – 106 Leonard Street, London EC2A 4RH, from Thursday 4th March until 29th April 2010, with that first date secured for a private viewing – and you can be on the list.

The opening night runs from 6pm until 2am, with a DJ line-up for the night including Liam Large (juekbox Jam), Tomas McGrath (Pork and Beans), Si Cheeba (Shake! Shing-A-Ling), Jamie Parr (Mojo Workin’) and the photographer himself, Dean Chalkley. Playlist is uptempo club soul and rhythm and blues, with a few ‘surprises’ thrown in to liven up the night, not to mention a first glimpse of those all-important images (aside from the one we are previewing here).