Gian Butturini, LONDON BY GIAN BUTTURINI, 1969

Gian Butturini, LONDON BY GIAN BUTTURINI, dust jacket with belly-band, back, spine and front

 

In 1969 – the year John and Yoko married – 34 year old Italian photographer Gian Butturini publishes his first book LONDON. It follows in the tradition of books by other Italian photographers like Mario Carrieri’s MILANO, ITALIA from 1959 or Giulia Pirelli & Carlo Orsi’s book Milano from 1965. Wonderfully designed and richly printed with mostly full-bleed plates, Buttorini records late 1960s London. In contrast to William Klein’s LIFE IS GOOD & GOOD FOR YOU IN NEW YORK from 1956 Buttorini uses mostly long lenses, giving the images a certain sense of voyeurism. It also has the effect of detaching his subjects from their background, which, combined with the more obviously cutout figures, reminds me strongly of M. Vorobeichic’s (Moi Ver) Ein Ghetto im Osten, Wilna from 1931. Buttorini uses certain cultural pop clichés while simultaneously deconstructing them, showing the sad face behind the glamour. Published in the year that Brian Jones drowns in his swimming pool and Judy Garland dies of a drug overdose in her London home, this was definitely the end of the ‘Swinging Sixties’. In an era of lost innocence, at the height of the Vietnam war, with John Lennon returning his MBE in protest, it seems Butturini is making his own protest with his choice and sequencing of images in this book.
Mixed within this kaleidoscope of late 1960s imagery, the photographer’s sly self-portrait can be found on page 93.

Quote by Robert Capa
One page text by Luciano Mondini
Two pages text by Gian Butturini
Poem by Allen Ginsberg

Self published in 1969

Hard cover with dust jacket

App. 27.9 x  34.3 cm

108 pages

Gian Butturini, LONDON BY GIAN BUTTURINI, dust jacket, back, spine and front

Gian Butturini, LONDON BY GIAN BUTTURINI, cover, back, spine and front

Gian Butturini, LONDON BY GIAN BUTTURINI, 1969

Gian Butturini, LONDON BY GIAN BUTTURINI, 1969

Gian Butturini, LONDON BY GIAN BUTTURINI, 1969

Gian Butturini, LONDON BY GIAN BUTTURINI, 1969

Gian Butturini, LONDON BY GIAN BUTTURINI, 1969

Gian Butturini, LONDON BY GIAN BUTTURINI, 1969

Gian Butturini, LONDON BY GIAN BUTTURINI, 1969

Gian Butturini, LONDON BY GIAN BUTTURINI, 1969

Gian Butturini, LONDON BY GIAN BUTTURINI, 1969

Gian Butturini, LONDON BY GIAN BUTTURINI, 1969

Gian Butturini, LONDON BY GIAN BUTTURINI, 1969

Gian Butturini, LONDON BY GIAN BUTTURINI, 1969

 


The book was republished by Damiani in 2017 with texts by Martin Parr, Allen Ginsberg, Gian Butturini and Luciano Mondini