The Family by Jocelyn Bain Hogg, published Foto8

The Family by Jocelyn Bain HoggJocelyn’s been at it again. Quick as a whippet, take no prisoners, access all villains. Seedy-glam, his beloved London at its etiolated best – nobody does it better. Or dresses sharper. But this time he shows another side of London’s gang world, and the irony is in the details. Time has passed, they’re a bit over-shadowed by more powerful international syndicates. Their movements are so closely scrutinised their social gatherings have to double as sotto voce business meetings. What are they whispering about? We will never know, and that’s the genius of this collection.

For which, no doubt, he will be castigated by some. This will annoy and delight him. Were Shakespeare or Weegee murderers, or the legions of ever-popular crime writers? If he was revealing the inner workings of Islamic extremists or white supremacists, the messenger would be commended for his bravery and sacrifice in shedding light on the dark and inaccessible. Authors can surely portray and take an interest in somebody without celebrating or trying to become them.

But how did he get close enough to give us these intimate moments, and why was he allowed? You would have to know Jocelyn to guess at the answer. One thing you have to know about him is how indefatigable he is. I simply don’t think they would have been able to resist him or equal his stamina if they had thought to refuse. If one didn’t know him better you might think that everything about Jocelyn is done with an eye to his myth, but it isn’t. Boulevardier, dandy, roue, smudger, Leica martyr. A visit to his west London flat will reveal a cave that harbours his enviable archive of photography books.

The darkroom/bathroom will be festooned with curling rolls of Tri-X film hung to dry from the latest night-long journey into London’s underworld. The rest of the flat will be a shadowy, swampy bomb-site of toxic ashtrays and other detritus from the previous night. There would have been a gathering of friends or a Skype chat with photographers around the world. And while he was shooting gangsters at night he was shooting Toffs, Respectables and Castle-Creepers by day for another project. Who else would be dissolute, or worthy enough even to interest the Family?
Seamus Murphy

The Family will be exhibited at the Foto8 Gallery from 8 December 2011 – 14 January 2012.

Keep up to date with The Family exhibitions and events via its own dedicated facebook page.

Preview The Family

Buy The Family from Foto8

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Foto8; 1 edition (2011)
  • Language English
  • ISBN-10: 0955958091
  • ISBN-13: 978-0955958090
  • Dimensions: 33 x 28.5 x 4 cm
Softcover Version
176 pages,
330mm x 285mm
– £45

Limited Edition Hardcover
Cloth cover, dust jacket,
signed handmade photograph
– £150

The Family by Jocelyn Bain Hogg Also available via Amazon


This silver gelatin, handmade print, is included only with the limited edition hardback book.
thefamily_ltdedprint
The Pyle Brothers – Mitch, Warren, Joe and Alan stand with associate Teddy Bambam
outside The Beauchamp Bar in London

Press Release