Don McCullin

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Sir Don McCullin is one of Britain’s most renowned photojournalists, having documented many major conflicts of the 20th and 21st Century. Hamiltons Gallery has represented Sir Don internationally for thirty years.

McCullin was born in 1935 in London’s Finsbury Park. Leaving school at fifteen, McCullin signed up to National Service in the RAF as a photographic assistant. In 1958, McCullin took his first published photograph of The Guvnors, a London gang who had been involved in a murder, which appeared in The Observer that same year. This professional success combined with his photographs documenting the building of the Berlin Wall secured him a contract with The Observer in 1961, marking the start of his career as a photographer of war and other human disasters.

Between 1966 and 1984, McCullin worked for The Sunday Times Magazine when the newspaper was at the cutting edge of investigative, critical journalism. “It was the Rolls-Royce of journalism,” recalls McCullin. During this period, McCullin’s assignments included Biafra, the Belgian Congo, the Northern Irish ‘Troubles’, Bangladesh and the Lebanese civil war. His photographs of Vietnam and Cambodia have become among the most famous images.

McCullin’s instinct for getting close to the heart of a conflict enables him to achieve remarkably intimate images, where his sympathies lie with the victims on both sides. Perhaps his most reproduced photograph of such intimate portrayals is his Shell-Shocked Marine. McCullin recalls dropping to his knees to take the picture, taking five consecutive shots. In each, the marine’s expression did not change; he did not blink once.

In addition to his war imagery, McCullin has also produced iconic photographs of people and places in England, capturing his candid and uncompromising view of his homeland. McCullin’s England photographs reveal the social gulf where the separation of rich and poor is as distinct as ever. It is with the same honesty seen in his war photographs that McCullin portrays his view of the divisions in England’s society. This disillusionment is balanced with empathy and at times, wit and irony, where absurdity is as rife as misfortune. In contrast to the human tragedy he has witnessed and recorded, his landscapes reveal his deep and unwavering love for England, in particular around his rural home in the West of England.

In more recent years, McCullin has continued to travel internationally, photographing new work in locations such as India, Syria and the African continent, where he documented the AIDS crisis. One of his most ambitious journeys has been to explore the ruins of the southern Roman Empire, a project that spanned over a number of years, and is documented in McCullin’s sold-out book Southern Frontiers: A Journey Across the Roman Empire (2010).

Sir Don McCullin was awarded a knighthood in the 2017 New Year's Honours list and last year Tate Britain opened a major retrospective of McCullin’s work, 5th February – 6th May 2019. Following the incredible success of this solo show, Tate Liverpool will open the comprehensive exhibition later this year. McCullin has been awarded numerous awards over the years, and in 1993 he was the first photojournalist to be made a Commander of the British Empire (CBE). He is the author of more than a dozen books (mostly published by Jonathan Cape). Don McCullin is today recognised as one of our greatest photographers.

Works in an edition of 15 + 3 Artist Proofs are oversized gelatin silver prints.
Works in 20 x 24 in. format are uneditioned gelatin silver prints, printed by Don McCullin's master printer.
Because these gelatin silver prints are printed by hand, individual image sizes may vary.
All works are signed by Sir Don McCullin.

If you have any questions or would like to see further available works, please email sales@hamiltonsgallery.com.