Have any of you had the good fortune to pass this busker on Oxford Street recently?
He drums on plastic tubs and other sundry household items perhaps for fun or economic exigency. I imagine the tupperware-based kit is a lot easier for a busker to lug around than a standard drumkit. It sounds different too, as you would imagine. More punchy. He must have to hit each ‘drum’ a lot harder than normal to get the same volume as a conventional skin. I approached the main drag from a side-street, and found myself drawn by the intoxicating drumming sounded irresistible.
It went like this
After he had finished I went and shook him by the hand, I had enjoyed it so much. I was shocked by how hard his palms were! They were heavily calloused (like old feet) from years of obsessive drumming. I would have stayed and listened for hours but I had to rush off into the underground bundle at Bond Street.
I was strolling down Oxford Street yesterday without my camera. Which was unusual.
When I don’t have my camera, I inevitably regret it. So I spend most of the time looking for shots I have missed the opportunity of taking. I think of it as a worthwhile lesson in not leaving my camera at home. I will also find my unoccupied eyes drawn to the work of other photographers. I find it fascinating how other people relate to imagery, and especially how professionals use their art to sell stuff effectively.
Walking down Oxford Street is a bit like running a gauntlet of greasy lunatics hitting you with florescent ‘for sale’ signs. I always find it an onslaught on my senses, and I enjoy it when I am feeling relaxed, but dislike it when I am stressed or in a hurry. Despite its shabbiness, consumers from all round the world love Oxford Street and flock there in their tens of thousands to gawp at the trainers, handbags, kilts and other wares being touted in the shop windows. The flood of shoppers is silently but intensely watched over by the models in the adverts: the wearers of what you should be wearing, the trusty guardians of consumer desire.
Sex sells, and you see it in these posters. The photographers use all their knowledge of composition leading the eye, colour and gesture etc. to work their spell on the (as yet) unfulfilled passers-by.
Look at this advert I saw in a shoe shop window. You don’t have to be a genius to work out how the sexual symbolism is working here. All the compositional movement from those improbably (i.e. photoshopped) slender limbs points to the central conceit of the image: the sexual substitution of the shoe.
It is a clever piece of advertising photography. Was it intended to work on men, women or, as I suspect both?