THE great film-maker and photographer Oscar Marzaroli died thirty years ago, in 1988. “Glasgow’s patrician with a camera,”ran the headline on a tribute in the Glasgow Herald, written by his friend and fellow photographer. George Oliver. Marzaroli, it began, “was as much at home behind a still-camera as he was behind a move-camera; as much as ease taking tea in a great mansion as he was taking photographs of ragamuffins larking in a back-green from the roof of a Glasgow midden ...He recorded contemporary life with integrity, with real respect and concern for visual truth, with total technical control of his chosen medium - and with an uncommonly good eye for a picture ... [His] photography of Glasgow, the city to which he came at the age of two, will be a lasting memorial.” Marzaroli’s images of Glasgow, he added, “have the flavour, the look, the feel, the smells, almost, of our great city.” The musician Ricky Ross added his own tribute in 1993, in his foreword to Marzaroli’s book, Glasgow’s People - 1956-1988. What makes Oscar’s work so great? he asked. “Is it because his eye was so naturally drawn to the humanity in every scene, the half-posed, the ill-prepared and the pre-occupied? Is it because so much of what we admire in people is not their strengths, but that unique quality often wrongly perceived as weakness?”

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