Miles of Indica Bookshop
Artists Alberto Giacomettii and Francis Bacon
Mohammed Ali with Michael X at London Central Mosque 13 May 1966
Indica Gallery, 6 Mason's Yard (off Duke Street), St James's, London, England - Yoko Ono setting up for her first European show. November 1966 Graham Keen / TopFoto

Exclusive!  License Graham Keen photographs

From now on, to write or think about the 1960s will demand Graham Keen’s photography. 

Independent photo archive TopFoto has secured exclusive rights to organise and represent this small but fascinating collection, much of which has never been seen.  A small number of prints were exhibited in 2016 at the Lucy Bell Gallery in St Leonards, curated by Terence Pepper, and sold to major collectors of the period.  

Graham , “with bright eyes that strobe the room,was a brilliant chronicler of the 1960s London art and counterculture scene centred on Soho's Better Books and the Indica Gallery, crossing over with the Marquee Club and odd-ball places where unknown mega-stars of the future tried out ideas. Working with his friend Barry Miles, Graham’s work shows an instinct for cool, sensing where real talent was to be found.  An instinct for what would roar up from underground led him, for example, to shoot Pink Floyd in their earliest light-show gig.   

Looking through the collection, which arrived at TopFoto just before the coronavirus lockdown, it seems he was there, wherever pop culture fused with protest during that defining decade.  Those who fuelled and defined the 60s - poets, artists, bohemians – are all pictured in his photographs.  Joan Baez, Ronnie Scott, Pink Floyd, Yoko Ono, Paul McCartney, The Who, Marianne Faithfull, Jim Haynes, Barry Miles, John “Hoppy” Hopkins, Allen Ginsberg, Bertrand Russell, Francis Bacon, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Gustav Metzger, John Latham, Jeff Nuttall, William Burroughs, Lucien Freud and Alberto Giacometti.  

Keen’s folders, files, even cigar boxes, are crammed with transparencies, negatives and prints ….Muhammad Ali with the black power leader  Michael X  in May 1966 at the Central London mosque in Regent’s Park, the 1965 anti-Vietnam march led by Marc Bolan, Joan Baez, Donovan and Vanessa Redgrave…. Despite the current challenges, 70 images so far have been digitised and uploaded onto www.topfoto.co.uk  

As a photographer for CND and Peace News Keen travelled to Cambodia with Pat Arrowsmith to cover the war in North Vietnam, during the  Tet Offensive.  They didn’t get to Hanoi but were forced under military escort through the Ho Chi Minh trail, where, terrified, he photographed the horror of napalmed children. 

That experience derailed the multi-talented Keen from continuing as a freelance photographer.  In 1968 he became art editor and director at International Times. When the magazine was raided by police in 1969 for publishing a gay lonely hearts section, Graham and three other directors were sent for trial in 1970 and found guilty of conspiracy to corrupt public morals, with a fine of £2,000, a huge burden, which broke the magazine. 

Graham then joined Time Out magazine as a designer, where he stayed for 30 years until retiring in 2001. Graham Keen died on 16 April 2019. 

Search and download from www.topfoto.co.uk or ask requests@topfoto.co.uk or call + 44 1732 863 939 at any time. 

VIEW A SELECTION HERE

VIEW ALL CURRENTLY DIGITISED HERE

Graham Keen photographic archive, arrived at TopFoto, 17 March 2020
Philip Larkin
Indica Gallery, 6 Mason's Yard (off Duke Street), St James's, London, England - LtoR Barry Miles, John Dunbar, Marianne Faithfull, Peter Asher and Paul McCartney. November 1966 Graham Keen / TopFoto
Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones, performing on Ready Steady Go
John Hurt
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