Organised to anticipate the release of the film, Legend, on the 9 September, this exhibition offers a fine photographic overview of the world of the Kray twins.
The film itself is the latest take on the story of the Krays, and features a brilliant performance by Tom Hardy who bravely takes on the roles of both twins.
The Kray’s living room set from the film has been transported to the exhibition space. It acts as a sixties style viewing area for a short, looped documentary that hears from some notable characters from that period.
Along the walls are images from a number of top photographers. The renowned war photographer, Don McCullin, who visited the area for over twenty years from the 1960’s onwards, provides some notable images in his confrontational style.
Also included are pictures by the equally celebrated photographer, Brian Duffy, a contemporary of David Bailey.
One particular picture shows Reggie sparring with his grandfather, Jimmy “Cannonball” Lee, who introduced the twins to boxing when they were children. Many more of his pictures of the twins were sadly lost when he destroyed much of his archive.
Other photographers exhibited include David George who spent thirty years taking photographs of the East End, and Jocelyn Bain Hogg, a documentary photographer who is also the author of five books including The Firm: a portrayal of criminal life from which the exhibited images are drawn.
This excellent exhibition acts not only as a look at the Krays themselves but at the East End of London at the time and features the highest quality documentary photography.
Curator Zelda Cheatle says: “What I was conscious to do was not the clichéd thing to glamorise violence or make out the East End to be a terrible place full of violence. What I really hope is some of the joy and desire for life in the streets comes through.”
“The exhibition looks at the East End of the 60’s and 70’s, brought to life by the people who lived there, the photographers who captured everyday life, the undercurrents that continue to exist, and importantly it reflects the poetry of the streets. ”
The Legend Of The East End runs until 11 Sept 2015 at 135 Bethnal Green Road, London, E2 7DG
For further info, visit: www.visitlondon.com/legend
Images courtesy Cass Archive, Duffy Images, Getty Images.