A photography exhibition dedicated to the work of the late Paul Soso, focusing on the sexy side of mask-wearing, opens in Soho on Thursday 18 November.
Soso, a regular on the London fetish scene, died in March 2020, just days before the first Covid lockdown.
Born in 1963, Paul first became interested in photography in the 1980s while at drama school in Edinburgh.
Over time he developed a distinct reportage style, and his story-telling flair won him recognition as an unofficial diarist of the London fetish scene.
He spent years capturing the ways that people wear masks for fun, fetish and freedom of expression. And his posthumous first solo exhibition opens at a time when masks have taken on a very different meaning.
“Paul’s photos are a celebration of everything that makes masks sexy,” said Martin Vintner-Jackson of Art Society Soho. “They’re also a snapshot of London nightlife.
“Following in the great traditions of Weegee in New York and Brassai in Paris, Paul was a night-time observer and recorder of the culture at a time of greater social freedom, when wearing masks was a statement of individuality, sexual independence and liberation.”
The exhibition will be held over two floors at renowned gallery and salon We Are Cuts, a
Soho institution that has hosted shows featuring the likes of Goldie, Normski, Helen Beard and Sadie Lee.
“Paul was a true artist who never got the recognition he deserved in his lifetime,” said gallery owner Daniel. “This exhibition will be the start of putting that right.”
The pictures will be available to buy as limited edition prints, with all the profits going to Paul’s children, Mia and Marley Soso.
“It’s amazing to see Dad’s work up on the walls and getting the kind of attention it deserves at last. He would have loved to have seen this,” said Mia.
Masks is free to attend and opens with a public celebration at 7pm on Thursday November 18 — masks optional. It will run at We Are Cuts, 41 Frith Street, London W1D 5LW, until the end of the year.