The work of celebrated photojournalist and portrait photographer Harry Benson CBE will be represented in the first major retrospective in England at MALLETT this February. 50 Years Behind the Lens documents the history of our ages through the eyes of this eminent artist who has produced some of the most memorable images throughout his long-standing career. Over 90 images will be on display, taken from the early 1960s to the present day, from 4 – 15 February. All photographs in the exhibition are for sale.
As well as documenting ‘Beatlemania’, 50 years ago this year, and producing the images that would define the band’s famous tour, Benson was called upon to photograph every American president from Dwight D Eisenhower to Barack Obama; he marched with and photographed Martin Luther King Jr. in the period of the Civil Rights Movement and has taken formal portraits of myriad iconic celebrities including Al Pacino, Dolly Parton, Amy Winehouse, Kate Moss, and Michael Jackson, all of which form a part of the exhibition. Undertaking assignments in conflict zones including Ireland, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kuwait, Israel and the West Bank, Benson also witnessed through his camera’s lens the Berlin Wall as it was built, and its subsequent destruction.
Benson’s photographs of the Beatles as major celebrity icons in the 1960s recorded the fixation with the band as it swept through Europe. As the ‘Beatlemania’ tour celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, 50 Years Behind the Lens illustrates the impact of Benson’s work upon the culture of celebrity and on the global perception of British music. Accompanying The Beatles on this tour, Benson took the defining image of the group as they frolicked in a Paris hotel room, a photograph that gave expression to the optimism and the innocence of that age. Subsequently, Benson accompanied The Beatles on their tours of America and became a favoured photographer.
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1. The Beatles, Ed Sullivan Show (1964) @ Harry Benson.