Famous for 15th of a second

by Mark Pinder

I’ve found these pictures from 1991 during my recent trawl through the boxes and boxes of neg’s from my archive.

In the mid 80’s I was living in Sarf London and amongst my friends from those days was a John Smith, (who features on the last two frames above). A few years later, I was living back on Tyneside and John decided to jump in the car and do a bit of a grand tour, chasing up friends he hadn’t seen for a while and finding out if it really was ‘grim oop north’.

With him was an artist friend called Jeremy who turned up with the  sign featured in the pictures, and wanted to be photographed in a typically northern ‘Coronation Street’ type setting. No problem, I was living in Roberts Street in Scotswood, at the time, (yes, yes, I know it’s not Salford),  so, conveniently, all we had to do was go out of my front door for a suitably northern location, where we then proceeded to photograph each other with each others cameras. It is worth remembering though that technicolor was still several years off, and that he North really was black and white in those days!

In the pub the previous evening, Jeremy had told the story of how he had met the pop-artist Andy warhol several years earlier in London. Fast forward twenty years to a couple of weeks ago, and I heard a programme on radio 4 about Warhol’s last visit to London in 1986, which included an interview with the 2004 Turner Prize winner Jeremy Deller, who told the same story as the Jeremy I’d met in 1991. As it happens, they were one and the same.

Deller by Pinder

Pinder by Deller

That’s how I got to have my picture taken by a famous artist!