The Traditional Dutch. Westapelle, Urk, Marken and Scheveningen, Holland, 1985 © William Coupon
Prolific portraitist William Coupon's 'Social Studies Part One: Capturing Culture: The World's Tribes' features images from over three decades of shooting around the globe.
William Coupon is a self-taught photographer, whose study of people began at New York's Studio 54 and Mudd night clubs, in 1979, where the one-time aspiring musician says he "shot to the rhythm of the bass." Soon after, he set his mind to "photograph everybody... I had the idea that my mission would be to continue to document groups, or sub-cultures. The working title would be 'Social Studies.'" In 1979 he headed to Haiti; in 1980, to Australia; by 2010 had a collection of more than 30 groups and tribes.
"What I've tried to create is a mosaic, a sample of the world's peoples, through photography and through my own personal experience."
In amongst, Coupon has photographed many celebrities, musicians, and politicians, and this is how I knew of him; I recalled his name from the early 90s when my agency acted as a sub-agent for Coupon's syndication in the UK. Welcome back into my photographic life, William! We look forward to Part Two!
Bonus: Here are a few images from The New Wave and Punk, New York, 1979.