Charlie Phillips

born 1944


Ronald "Charlie" Phillips (born 22 November 1944), also known by the nickname "Smokey", is a Jamaican-born restaurateur, photographer, and documenter of black London. He is now best known for his photographs of Notting Hill during the period of West Indian migration to London; however, his subject matter has also included film stars and student protests, with his photographs having appeared in Stern, Harper’s Bazaar, Life and Vogue and in Italian and Swiss journals.

His work has been exhibited at galleries including Tate Britain, Museum of London, Nottingham's New Art Exchange, Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit and Museum of the City of New York, and is also in collections at The Wedge, London's Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A), as well as the Tate.

Phillips has been called: "Arguably the most important (yet least lauded) black British photographer of his generation", and a January 2015 feature in Time Out London referred to him as "the greatest London photographer you've never heard of – and some of his best works are only just being discovered".

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