Photographer David Hurn was asked by the director Dick Lester to photograph the Beatles from a “sociological” rather than press perspective during the filming of the 1964 film A Hard Days Night. Hurn witnessed the pressures that Beatlemania exerted on the Fab Four. “In 1963, the Beatles had gained unprecedented fame and status. It could be argued that their only next step could either be down, or to individually go in new directions,” says Hurn. “They were at crossroads in their respective careers, and yet had already transformed the music industry.”

Life, as it unfolds in front of the camera, is full of so much complexity, wonder, and surprise that I find it unnecessary to create new realities. There is more pleasure, for me, in things as they are

David Hurn
© David Hurn | Magnum Photos

A self-taught photographer, David Hurn (b.1934) began his career in 1955 as an assistant at the Reflex Agency. He gained his early reputation through his reportage of the 1956 Hungarian revolution and became a full member of Magnum Photos in 1967. In 1973 he set up the influential School of Documentary Photography in Newport, Wales and remained director until 1989.

His work is held in major collections including British Council, London; ICP, New York, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Bibliothèque nationale de France and National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth, amongst others.

David Hurn continues to live in, and work from his home in Tintern, Wales.

© David Hurn | Magnum Photos

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