Portfolio: Jocelyn Bain Hogg


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The Independent Culture

Ten years ago, Jocelyn Bain Hogg produced his seminal work The Firm, documenting the colourful characters who inhabited London's underworld – gangland enforcers such as Freddie Foreman and Kray associate Joey Pyle. Now, with The Family, he returns to the scene and the new generation making their way in "the business", including Pyle's son, Joe. Just don't go expecting a blood-soaked exhibition of violence...

"This project is about the reality of the British underworld; if you want the myth, watch Scorsese or Brian De Palma," he says. Bain Hogg instead presents a series of simple, unposed shots, taken while he got to know Pyle Jr and his close circle at their most relaxed. "Half the battle was getting their trust, so I started going to their parties," he explains. Which meant many a Friday night spent at the Beauchamp pub in Knightsbridge, London, getting to know the likes of Dave "Dave T" Thurston and "Welsh" Phil and "sharing their mordant humour".

The result is neither a critique nor an acknowledgement of the darker edges of their lives. "I didn't get involved in the business side," says Bain Hogg . "What we have here cuts under the mask to show the humanity of their lives – sort of like the Sopranos from Mitcham."

'The Family' by Jocelyn Bain Hogg is available from Foto8 (foto8.com) priced £45. An accompanying exhibition is at Blacks Club, London W1, from 18 March to 14 April and the White Cloth Gallery, Leeds, from 19 April to 19 May