on 12 April 2014
The images and portraits in this volume are almost exclusively limited to Jubilee Street (Stepney), Hessel Street (Shadwell), Brick Lane (Whitechapel / Aldgate), 'The Lane' (Petticoat Lane / Middlesex Street), Wentworth St, Flower and Dean St (Spitalfields) and environs, each picture reminding us of better times when the East End was no less diverse and multicultural than today, but altogether more inclusive and joyous - and certainly at least two generations away from the world of 'corporates' and (ironically, monotone) 'pop up' hipsters that permeate a - sadly sanitised - Spitalfields today.
Each image is accompanied by 'pitch perfect' comments by Mr Berkoff, beautifully evoking lost - but thankfully not forgotten - sights and smells.
Speaking personally, the documents of Hessel Street are perhaps simultaneously beautiful, shocking and disturbing - because they remind us of a wonderful sub-culture and ethos that Cockneys will never again, in any meaningful and substantial sense, bear testament to.
My only criticism of this volume - and I'm all too aware I'm 'nitpicking' here - is that each picture is undated. But no matter, for there is much fun and satisfaction to be had by using one's own memory and imagination to date each picture oneself.
on 22 September 2013
East End photgraphs by a true East Ender, affectionate, warm, humane documents of domestic like in the East End . They are now nostalgic, but accurately serve as reminders of fun playing in the streets, when corner shops sold everything and everybody on the street knew each other. Photographed by Stephen Berkoff, they show a keen observation of East End life of the 60s and 70s .
on 8 December 2013
This is an excellent collection of candid portraits and urban street photography centred around Whitechapel and Spitalfields in the 1960s. This book is not just a homage to a celebrity snapper - Berkoff is a very fine photographer and he could easily have gone on to match Don McCullin or Chris Kilip had he stuck to his art. The quality of the photography is supported by the authentic memories of Berkoff. The packaging, in a sturdy hardback is very good as is the quality of the printing. Essential purchase for lovers of the lost east end.