29 November 2015

Cornershop pinups

Yesterday was bitterly cold and I went out taking photos without gloves, a mistake even though gloves are a thorough nuisance when you're using a camera. I went into a corner shop for a bar of chocolate and a bit of warmth, and saw this line of portraits over the door, a nice change from phone cards and lottery posters. Why these particular people? Simply because they are famous, or is there a deeper thread linking them all? Two scientists, two pacifists, a socialist revolutionary, plus one of the greatest performers and songwriters ever: not entirely random, but not so obvious either. Were they collected over a period of years or bought all at once, I wondered, and are they there as a conversation piece or more for something other than packaging to look at? The owner didn't really get my question, but waved what I hope was an 'ok' when I asked if it was all right to take a photo.

The pictures are fairly easy to identify, although I guessed the man in the suit wrong first time because the best-known images show him with grey hair. Amazingly, I found out on Google by cropping my photo to just that portrait and doing a picture search. It's a young Nelson Mandela as pictured on the Penguin paperback edition of his classic, "No Easy Walk to Freedom".