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Tony Ray-Jones was born in 1941 in London, the son of the artist. His artistic education began in England, and then he continued his studies in the United States at the School of Art at Yale University. In America he became interested in photography, met with some "street photography". After graduating, he returned to his homeland, decided to devote his life photographic art.
In England, Ray-Jones was unpleasantly surprised by the complete lack of interest in non-profit photography. He tried to correct the situation by publicly speaking out against the commercialization of photography, berating his "corrupt", as he called them, colleagues, but without much success.
In 1966, Tony Ray-Jones began work on the project, which he dreamed of back in America — documenting the life of their country. And he was involved in the project until 1970, creating a kind, cheerful and somewhat surreal portrait of England, the second half of the 1960s. In the next decade, to some extent due to the efforts of Tony Ray-Jones, the ratio of profit to the pictures in England changed: opened in London photographic gallery, photographers began to receive grants, publishers began to release albums.
But Ray-Jones did not see it after a number of unsuccessful attempts to publish his book, "The English," he went to seek his fortune in America. Together with Bill Jay, editor of the magazine «Creative Camera», he tried to find a publisher in the U.S., but also without success.
In 1971, he became ill, doctors put a disappointing diagnosis: leukemia. He returned to England and 13 March in 1972 died in hospital. Life Tony Ray-Jones was cut short when he was not yet in '31 — however, talking about him as a person, who formed an entire generation of British photographers.
The first album Ray-Jones 'output' came out in 1974, two more books came out in 1990 and 2004. In Europe and America very successfully passed several exhibitions of the photographer about his work writing articles and books. The award has found a hero — alas, too late.