Month: October 2016

William Christenberry’s evocation of the American South in new New York exhibition

During pilgrimages to his native Hale County, Alabama, William Christenberry has recorded the changing appearance of the region’s natural landscape and vernacular architecture in diverse formats and media since the early 1960s. The work is shown for the first time at New York’s Pace/MacGill Gallery, in an about to launch exhibition.

2016-10-31T16:47:55+00:00

Magnum photographers discuss their Conditions of the Heart

The connection between photographer and subject is a vital element in the power of an individual photograph. In turn, the image has the power to inspire, inform and communicate human engagement. In 1948, David ‘Chim’ Seymour would come to pioneer this visual form of emotional empathy through his work with UNICEF – following the children orphaned and scarred by the consequences of the Second World War. Working for six months on a dramatically reduced fee, Chim painstakingly travelled across Europe shooting 257 rolls of film, going beyond mere illustration of UNICEF’s work, the assignment became a labour of love, revealing his unique capacity to awaken the public’s conscience to war’s most vulnerable victims. His unapologetically compassionate approach reflected both his deep seated humanism and unique ability to treat those he photographed with equanimity, reverence and respect, developing a genuine human connection that would become emblematic of the engagement at the heart of documentary photography today. Chim’s photographs remain an indispensible part of history, creating a style of photography which has not only shaped the ethos of Magnum Photos …

2016-11-10T10:12:08+00:00

Reimagining War Beyond its Exceptionality

The inescapable horrors of war have arguably come to define our modern world. With the ongoing refugee crisis, the endless atrocities unfolding at the hands of ISIS and the Yemen war making headlines, both domestic and international conflicts continue to mark our global landscape.  Though the world has become a much less violent place since the end of the Second World War, the last decade has seen an increase in terrorism and violence – with the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), finding that out of 162 countries, only 11 of the world’s nations are in a full state of peace. In our ever globalised world, these conflicts will continue to effect us, both at home and abroad. Traces of War is a major new exhibition which seeks to show that war is not confined to moments of crisis or battlefield locations; but rather a force which disrupts the normality of everyday life. Internationally renowned artists Jananne Al-Ani, Baptist Coelho, and Shaun Gladwell explore the most enduring, and, some would argue, most dangerous aspect of conflict – its presence and intersection with …

2016-10-28T17:20:16+00:00

Maximum Exposure: The Art of Online Galleries

Online art sales topped £2.3bn in 2015, thanks in part to e-commerce platforms such as Paddle8 and Artsy, supported by venture capitalists and angel investors such as Google and other big-ticket financial backers. The platforms are a world away from traditional galleries, where high-end art sales are the preserve of private shows and relationship-building. But the increase has been so noticeable that well-respected gallerists, who have historically made their fortunes through bricks-and-mortar shows, are taking note. “I’ve been noticing an uptick in the volume of sales my gallery has made online,” says Stephen Bulger, founder of Stephen Bulger Gallery in Toronto, adding that these sales come from all over the world. In fact, one British collector, who had seen an André Kertész picture consigned by Bulger’s gallery for a show at London’s Royal Academy of Arts, contacted him online and eventually bought a print for $20,000. This got Bulger thinking, and the result is ffotoimage.com, a new e-commerce photography platform complete with virtual galleries, set to launch in November 2016. Featuring work from Bulger’s physical gallery inventory, it adds …

2016-10-27T16:55:49+00:00

National Portrait Gallery: In Focus

Each year the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize exhibition opens at the National Portrait Gallery, showing off the shots that most impressed the judges in this prestigious worldwide prize. Since 2015 the gallery has also hosted a simultaneous In Focus exhibition, highlighting a new body of work by an internationally established photographer. Last year, the honour fell to Pieter Hugo; this year, Spanish photographer Cristina de Middel will present images exploring the sex industry in Brazil’s capital Rio de Janeiro. As one of the main prostitution hubs in Latin America, Rio has seen the business flourish in recent years – particularly with the added attraction of the Fifa World Cup in 2014 and the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Rather than focusing on the prostitutes, de Middel homed in on their clients, placing a small ad in the local newspapers in June 2015, asking them to come forward and take part in the project. “I was surprised by the response, but Rio is a very relaxed city when it comes to sex,” says de Middel. “There is …

2016-10-28T17:21:34+00:00

JH Engström’s 48 hour Photobook

The blink-and-you-miss-it sale is devised by Aron Mörel, founder of Mörel Books, to play with the restraints of traditonal photobook print releases, which are often limited and exclusive in their numerical quantity. An inveterate bookmaker himself, JH Engström was the perfect choice for the time-sensitive collaboration, known for his highly collectable monographs. The acclaimed Swedish photographer’s raw and confrontational imagery is marked by a distinctly subjective approach, documenting his surroundings and often exploring his own sense of self within an existential framework. OCTOBER: Fear of Leaving mixes both archival and new material to offer an intriguing insight into the photographer’s world, capturing the experience of the lived moment. The book plays an integral part in Engström’s prolific practice – his numerous offerings developed over a number of maquettes tend to be fused together with expressive energy. Each black and white image looks like a memory, a fleeting moment caught intuitively through Engström’s lens. Collages of stark landscapes and intimate portraits are juxtaposed to reflect his eclectic style, eye for detail, and ability to encapsulate the emotional connections of those he photographs. Mörel Books will only print OCTOBER: Fear of Leaving …

2016-10-27T11:51:20+00:00

A Matter of Memory: Photography as Object in the Digital Age

Do you remember the last time you went out and printed a snapshot? Or filled up a chunky, leather-bound photo album with a set of family portraits? If you’re under 30, the answer could well be never. With the immediacy of digital recording and the convenience of smartphones for organising and sharing images, the act of printing physical pictures has become something of an anachronism for anyone but hipsters and art photographers. A new exhibition at the George Eastman Museum in Rochester, New York, seeks to address how the gradual decline of the photographic object is affecting our relationship to memory, and what happens when our century-old physical tie to the photograph is broken. “What has changed is the tactility of the photograph,” says exhibition curator Lisa Hostetler. “Now that images are on a screen, they’re sort of ‘forever young’, and it becomes difficult to realise that there are many things that connect us to the past in terms of basic human emotions. These become more difficult to tease out when everything looks contemporary.” A Matter of …

2016-11-09T15:54:51+00:00

Brett Rogers, Director of the Photographer’s Gallery, on how to win the BJP International Photography Award

With the deadline for entering this year’s International Photography Award not too far away, BJP has called on each member of our elite judging panel and asked, what it is they are looking for in this year’s winning series

2017-10-24T14:51:51+00:00

Charlie Kwai’s Unapologetically Confrontational Street Photography

Born and raised in London, Charlie Kwai has always been fascinated by untold narratives about those around him, but it wasn’t until a stint working as a freelance graphic designer in tourist hotspot Piccadilly Circus that he started to carve out his singular niche in street photography. He soon discarded the Pentax K1000 he had stolen from college almost a decade earlier in favour of a digital camera, and began to seek respite from his frustrating day job by capturing the characters he found around him. “I’d go out on lunch and spend a full hour taking photos. I wouldn’t even eat sometimes, and then after work I would stay out from six until eight most nights,” he says. Before long, his uncanny ability to pinpoint moments of clarity and stillness in bustling crowds of tourists – a Burger King-crowned princess perched pensively on a stone step, or a family so archetypal they appear like a waxwork parody of themselves – grew into a day job all its own. “What gets me out of bed …

2016-10-25T16:23:37+00:00

BJP Staff