Chris Killip is a photographer for a specific generation, most would suggest that if you are under the age of 30 there is a high possibility that his work would have passed you by. Killip however has been described as one of the most influential documentary photographers since the likes of Bill Brandt and Paul Strand.

Chris Killip

His work is known for being dramatic and rhetoric filled, he also has an ability to infuse huge amounts of emotion and social comment within one frame. Killip’s work however is best viewed as it was intended, as part of a series. As with the work of Robert Frank for example, each single image holds visual interest and emotive intrigue, but feels a little stranded when not viewed in a series. Killip’s series’ are so intuitively linked that they need each other to be fully understood and appreciated. Certainly as mentioned, each single image holds interest and they do not fall apart as if from some sort of children’s flick book, when removed from the series, but what does happen is the possibility for misinterpretation. Killip’s single images could easily be viewed as iconic symbols of the society of Britain, when in fact they are generally considered to be representative of it.

I suppose to fully understand the problems involved with viewing Killip’s work one would need to experience it first hand. His most celebrated book “In Flagrante” is particularly difficult to get a hold of, so if you happen to come across it make sure you spend some time viewing it.