-Edgar Degas (1834-1917)
Examine how artists represent their world.
The swinging sixties. Marked as a period of popular culture, excitement, radical behavior and, subversive events such as feminism movements, civil rights movements, technological advances, music, film and rebellious trends such as the evolving and drug epidemic and flamboyant scandal. So when Lewis Morley photographed infamous protagonist Christine Keeler, it not only “captured the buoyant spirit of the time” – says Morley, but created an image which would always remain significantly associated with the sixties.
Lewis Morley born in 1925 established his career as a photographer as he began as fashion photography, and soon after moved onto photographing icons of the time, such as Barry Humphreys, Salvador Dali, Tom Jones, Joe Orton, Christine Keeler and many more. Morley’s photograph of Christine Keeler instantly became globally recognisable, and would always be seen as his most highly commended photograph.
Christine Keeler, English model and showgirl, known for her infamous sexual reputation with the British government, otherwise known as the “Profumo affair”. In July 1961, John Profumo, British Secretary of State for War was introduced to Keeler and they began to have an affair, not realising that she was also sleeping with Yevgeny Ivanov, a naval attaché at the embassy of the Soviet Union.
The affair was soon publicised by the government’s Cabinet Secretary, Sir Norman Brook, who was advised by M15 head, Sir Roger Hollis. Soon after on the 9th of August 1961, Profumo wrote to Keeler, informing her they could no-longer continue their affair. This scandal dominated the media of the 60’s, making the photograph of Keeler recognised as an icon globally. In doing this, Morley was representing his world and society, and what was important, and being publicised through the media at the time.