‘The Others’- Derek Ridgers.
A short and sweet review on a, not so candied but truthful and expressive, photobook.
Full of taboo, honesty and a susceptibility for mistakes, there’s a certain type of nervous acceptance that you go though as a viewer of ‘The Others’, by Derek Ridgers. If you aren’t familiar with Ridgers’ work, he focuses on the expressive need the youth find themselves in. These young individuals pride themselves on being as expressive as possible within their own subcultures, and ‘The others’ is no exception. Ridgers’ work has similarities to Wolfgang Tillmans’ themes and thoughts, and a more explicit and daring version of Ryan McGinley’s portraits. Full of anti-government, tattooed and bewildered teens, adolescence is explored fully. I somehow find myself longing to be as creative and as brave as the people Ridgers produces portraits of.
“At Taboo, doorman Mark Vaultier would hold up a gilt vanity mirror to the face of anyone who asked why they couldn’t get in and say ‘THAT’S WHY!’ When Steve Strange turned Mick Jagger away at Blitz the line was drawn between the establishment and ‘The Others’,” Richard Habberley, foreword writer for ‘The Others’.
Ridger documents the London youth culture throughout the seventies and eighties. Showing an inquisitive eyesight for the most significant youth cultures; skinheads, new wave romantics, punks and many more that have created British history. Most ironically, these are all the images that didn’t fit into any of the other photobook’s that Ridgers produced, but they are incredibly fitting with each other. We go through the different stages alongside these characters. Ridger gives us an understanding into their vulnerability, their carefree nature and their unfulfilled longing for idiosyncrasy. One hundred images, all defining true British youth cultures, ‘invention and reinvention of looks and styles’. When viewing this book, you’ll be taken back to a key iconic moment in youth history, and you’ll undoubtedly be thankful for it.
(I’d also beg you to check out his Instagram @derekridgers for stunning contemporary portraits)
Written by Chloe Parker
Images courtesy of © Derek Ridgers, 2015 / IDEA