Curated by Exposure’s Raoul Shah and featuring a series of striking images of boxer Ramon Levy-Lassie, the project is a celebration of the London-based photographer’s collaboration with the late Barry Kamen. BOXER will mark the first anniversary of the death of Kamen, the influential artist and stylist at the forefront of the Eighties Buffalo scene, who died in October 2015 at the age of 52.
Raoul Shah comments, "The first time I met Paul and saw the BOXER story, I immediately wanted to show the work at Exposure. It felt as equally reflective as it did contemporary, modern and fresh. There is a sensitivity in these pictures captured in the physical and emotional strength of the subject. This is true of Barry's styling which remains timeless and honest and leaves an imprint for us all to celebrate."
Following a chance encounter between boxer Levy-Vassie and Vickery on the London Underground in October 2013, the two began a friendship that soon developed into a creative and insightful study exploring what it means to be a young boxer in contemporary London. Vickery’s portraits are highly intimate and personal; he captures not only the physical, but the emotional journey of Levy-Lassie.
‘I work very closely with all my subjects. Ramon really understood my need to work in this manner. There’s an honesty and sensitivity in BOXER. I’m capturing moments of truth. There’s a poetry to images made this way. It’s hard to fabricate that’ comments Vickery.
Shot entirely on film over a twelve-month period, BOXER traces Levy- Vassie’s journey from training to first pro-fight and beyond. Culminating in a series of high-stylised images, styled by the late Barry Kamen, the project embraces both documentary and fine art genres, serving as a reaction upon both the sport and the art of boxing.
“There’s a magic that only happens when like-minded creative forces collide. Working with Ramon and Barry was terrific. It was all about teamwork,” says Vickery.
Since graduating from Central Saint Martins, Paul Vickery has built a reputation for producing compelling imagery combining documentary, portraiture, fine art and style genres. His work has been exhibited in London and New York, appearing alongside eminent photographers including Rankin, Perou, Uli Weber and Dean Chalkley. Collectors include Peter Paul Hartnett and international gallerists Meryl Messineo and Helene Wyman (Messineo Art Projects & Wyman Contemporary NYC). Paul Vickery’s work has featured in Arena Homme Plus, 125 Magazine, Professional Photographer, Black and White, GUP, Jocks&Nerds and the Hip-Hop bible Viper.
Barry Kamen (1963 – 2015)
Barry Kamen was an artist, model, stylist and the poster boy for the influential Buffalo movement of the 1980s. Alongside late stylist Ray Petri, and photographers Mark Lebon, Jamie Morgan, Roger Charity and Cameron McVey, Barry and his Levi’s model brother Nick helped define the look of the pioneering youth culture movement that defined the look of 80s youth culture and changed the face of fashion. As a stylist Kamen collaborated with Vivienne Westwood and a pre-supermodel 14-year-old Naomi Campbell, and contributing regularly to The Face, Arena and i-D magazine.
Ramon Levy-Vassie was born in Windsor, UK in 1988. He transformed his hobby as a boxer into a career aged 18, when he turned professional. His early training in Cuba and Mexico was accompanied with studies for a degree in Hispanic studies and modelling for the likes of Steven Klein. Ramon has now retired from professional boxing and continues to work as an entrepreneur and artist.