In 1969 Gian Butturini was just over 30 years old and a successful graphic designer working in advertising. His journey as a photographer began at Victoria Station when he saw a young man staggering by with a syringe embedded in a vein. He began investigating 1960s London through the Nikon hanging from his neck.
Butturini’s photographs of London are full of pain and sarcasm but also joy and lyricism—hippies and fashionable young women share space with the homeless, the pacifist demonstrations and the orators at Speakers’ Corner. Butturini’s London, in the photographer’s own words, “is true and bare ... I did not ask it to pose.”
Gian Butturini: London is the new facsimile edition of Butturini’s cult 1969 photobook, which interspersed his black-and-white photographs with text by Allen Ginsberg. No less an authority than Martin Parr—who contributes a text to this new edition—has credited Butturini’s photobook with containing some of the best photographs ever taken of the British capital.
Gian Butturini (born 1935) began his career in the early 1950s as a graphic designer in Milan. The publication of London in 1969 marked his transition to photography. After catching the end of the Swinging Sixties in London, Butturini continued to take photographs, documenting the Troubles in Northern Ireland, Fidel Castro’s Cuba and violence in Bosnia, among other key sights and events of the 20th century.