Proud Camden presents Exemplar: Joy Division, an exhibition of iconic portraits of the band by renowned photographer Kevin Cummins, who enjoyed unrivalled access to the band during their tragically short-lived career. Over thirty years since the death of troubled front man Ian Curtis, these photographs have become synonymous with the band and their public persona as the band’s influence has become increasingly important.
Cummins’ working relationship with Joy Division began with their inception and first gig in May 1977 and lasted until Ian Curtis’ death in 1980; Cummins has continued to work closely with the band to the present day via other projects, most notably New Order. His close relationship with the band led him to capture ‘their quiet introspection off-stage, their close relationships as band mates, and their legendary energy in live performances’. From their semi-derelict rehearsal spaces to Curtis’ magnetic onstage presence, Cummins’ photographs capture the band on their ascent to greatness. Never presenting us with a shot of Curtis smiling, Cummins shaped the Joy Division aesthetic as he tried not to waste film or get shots that would not be published.
Cummins was in close proximity to the band for all three years, however relatively few photographs were taken by him preceding Curtis’ death, making these shots a very rare glimpse into the brief but brilliant Joy Division years. Proud Galleries is pleased to present Joy Division, an exclusive exhibition celebrating the rise of an iconic band and their celebrated front man, a must see for any Joy Division fan.