Robert Whitaker’s The Beatles: Inside and Out

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Robert Whitaker’s exhibition, The Beatles: Inside and Out, is a candid collection of photographs that capture an unusual and unobtrusive view into the life of the Liverpudlian musicians that grew to be the most popular band in the world.

The champagne launch party was held at Proud Galleries in Chelsea, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Whitaker’s first photo session with The Beatles and the small but glamorous space was filled with art lovers and Beatles enthusiasts alike.

Whitaker photographed the band from 1964 until 1966 and during this time, he became both a confidante and friend, working to encourage them to take risks. This is especially prevalent in the photograph, “Butcher Cover” where the band are positioned in the frame holding joints of raw meat and broken children’s dolls. About this particular photograph, Lennon said that it was their boredom of having to do another ordinary photo shoot that inspired the band to create more surrealist compositions and looking at photographs in this collection, it comes as no surprise that Whitaker was influenced by his good friend Salvador Dali.

Years of convention, together with Whitaker’s imagination, fuelled The Beatles’ desire to break away from what was expected and court controversy at a time of great change.

A far cry from the manufactured photographs we are all used to seeing, the collection feels very playful and in many instances, the Fab Four look to be blissfully unaware that Whitaker is even taking photographs of them. This “off-duty” portrayal is relaxed and mischievous, showing a rare glimpse of the band as they mess around on set or rehearse before a concert.

For enthusiasts who prefer the more iconic photographs of The Beatles, these are not completely forgotten. Some classics, including the infamous zebra crossing shot outside Abbey Road Studios, still feature in the collection.

Robert Whitaker’s The Beatles: Inside and Out will run until 6th July 2014, Monday to Sunday, 10am till 7pm at Proud Chelsea,