If you only see one exhibition this summer, make sure it is “Return of the Rudeboy.” I was privileged to attend the private view opening of this captivating exhibition last night at Somerset house and left feeling energised, inspired and transported to a bygone era.
Now if you are imagining images of the second coming of a disrespectful infant, you are definitely on the wrong path. When many of our grandparents left their sunny shores to travel to the UK in the 1950’s and 60’s they brought with them a unique sense of style and character. The term Rudeboy was used to describe these immaculately dressed gentlemen in well-tailored suits, porkpie or stingy brim hats and well shined shoes. Being a Rudeboy wasn’t just something that came prepackage on a shelf or directly of a shop mannequin, it was a way of life. This was seen in the music, lifestyle and even a way of walking and it is refreshing to see a generation of men and women in this society that still represent this individuality in their daily lives.
The Return of the Rudeboy exhibition is the culmination of a year’s work and research from creative duo Harris Elliot and Dean Chalkey. Chalkey and Elliot spent the last year photographing individuals who embodied the style, culture and energy of the 1950/60’s “rudeboy” with their own sartorial twist. Each portrait represents a style that has it’s roots deep in this culture but with a modern personalised edge and a unique sense of style. As I walked around Somerset House viewing the collection, I was completely transported by each captivating image and installation. The energy, imagery and music combined perfectly to show respect to the origin of this phenomenon, while showing the representation in today’s society.
For more information visit: http://www.somersethouse.org.uk/visual-arts/return-of-the-rudeboy