Author: BJP

Gareth McConnell’s young hedonists the morning after a night in Ibiza

BJP

“All these fucking photographs,” says Gareth McConnell at the very beginning of our conversation. “What do you do with them? How do you make sense of them?” It’s taken weeks to connect. The Irish-born, London-based photographer has given me the runaround, but he’s so engaging and funny when he finally replies that I find it hard to maintain any strop. “I am gonna look for PDFs now,” he writes. Then: “I have neither copies of the books or money for a courier if I did… why didn’t I pay more attention at school?” He’s much like this in conversation: frequently self-deprecating, easy-going, often cheeky. He also talks nineteen to the dozen, weaving punk bands, AK-47s, Tommy Hilfiger, Susan Sontag and Carl Cox into his conversation as easily as his publishing venture (Sorika), his daughter, and his long-time battle with drug addiction. At the end of it all, I find myself wondering what on earth just happened. McConnell came to international attention with the publication of his first book, a short-lived collaboration between Steidl and Photoworks, …

2015-06-09T11:58:01+00:00

Lars Tunbjörk – obituary

BJP

Lars Tunbjörk, the renowned photographer best known for his vividly colourful, quietly witty photography of everyday life in Sweden, died this month aged 59, writes Thomas Cox. Tunbjörk was one of Sweden’s most celebrated photographers. Headlines from Swedish media publications included epithets like “Lars Tunbjörk changed the way we see ourselves” (Sweden Radio) and “Lars Tunbjörk showed Sweden through his own melancholy” (Dagens Nyheter). Born February 1956 in Borås, in the south of Sweden, Tunbjörk was 15 when he started taking photographs during work experience at his local newspaper Borås Tidning. After school, he began freelancing for the national newspaper Stockholms-Tidningen, before the fine art photography world first recognised his work with the Swedish Picture of the Year award for a black and white documentary picture of Swedish everyday life. Tunbjörk’s international breakthrough came in 1993 with the book Country Beside Itself. His best-known series include Office (2001), which captures office workers in unexpected positions while working – such as under the desk – and Home (2003), in which minimalist shots of everyday things – playgrounds, flowers, armchairs – expose a quiet …

2015-04-21T17:12:11+00:00

Kalpesh Lathigra – Lost in the Wilderness

BJP

Growing up, photographer Kalpesh Lathigra was always the Indian, never the cowboy. “As a kid you have such simplistic notions of identity,” he says. “I’m of Indian decent, but in playground games of Cowboys and Indians, no distinction was made between Indians from the subcontinent and Native Americans”, he explains. “What’s more, I always wanted to be the cowboy. I wanted to be the hero; maybe that’s why I’m so romantic about cowboys to this day.” This “slow burn of consciousness” — how childhood experiences embed themselves in our adult lives — is a point of departure for Lathigra’s new series Lost in the Wilderness. Inspired by Henri Cartier-Bresson’s book India, Lathigra left a law degree to study photography at the London College of Communication. Having worked for many years as a staff photographer for The Independent, he had an epiphany in October 1999. “I was driving along the Strand past the Royal Courts of Justice and saw a group of photojournalists outside. I thought: ‘I don’t want to be doing that when I’m 40’. …

2015-04-21T15:14:12+00:00

Jessica Fulford-Dobson – Skate Girls of Kabul

BJP

In 2007, an Australian skateboarder called Oliver Percovich decided to give girls from the most autocratic and repressive societies the opportunity to skateboard. He took Skateistan to Kabul, Afghanistan, using the urban street sport as a tool for empowerment, and a hook to get children aged 5 to 18 from poor and displaced Afghan families into full-time education. It now works with over 400 children per week. Pictures of them are now on display at London’s Saatchi gallery. In a country where girls aren’t allowed to ride bikes, and where only 20 percent of women aged 15 to 24 are literate, Skateistan has made skateboarding the most popular sport for girls. “I think initially when Oliver the founder turned up in Kabul with three skateboards, he was like the pied piper – he’d lend them to children and have to wrestle them back because they were enjoying it so much,” explains Jessica Fulford-Dobson. Since its beginnings, Skateistan has established the two largest sports centres in Afghanistan and opened centres in South Africa and Cambodia. Fulford-Dobson, the celebrated British portrait photographer, heard of Skateistan one lazy …

2015-04-17T15:55:12+00:00

Battersea Power Station Control Room A © Gina Soden

The Other Art Fair – an alternative to galleries?

BJP

More than 120 photographers and artists will show their work at The Other Art Fair (TOAF), “a unique platform from which artists can independently showcase their work to gallerists, curators, critics and collectors” which will run from 23 to 26 April at Victoria House in Holborn, London. The selection committee includes artist Gavin Turk and the Curator of Drawings at the Courtauld Gallery, Dr Stephanie Buck. The photographers shown will include Gina Soden, Anastasia Lazurenko, Barbara Nati, and Tommy Clarke (see image-gallery above). Billed as the “UK’s leading artist fair”, Ryan Stanier has directed TOAF since its launch in 2011. Stanier was previously the director of Artbeat, a group which put on pop-up art fairs in Covent Garden. “I had a lot of friends who were practising artists,” Stanier says. “They were putting on these amazing shows outside London but struggling to get their art seen. The difficulty is actually getting people along. [bjp_ad_slot] “I thought why don’t we create an art fair where we go out and try and find the best unrepresented artists and offer them a stand. It’s an opportunity …

2015-04-17T13:05:30+00:00

Lynsey Addario – It’s What I Do

BJP

Photojournalist Lynsey Addario has been kidnapped and beaten. She has also borne witness to the defining global conflicts of our time. Having received the MacArthur Genius Grant for her previous work, her new memoir, It’s What I Do: A Photographer’s Life of Love and War, explores the role of the conflict reporter in the contemporary world. “If your pictures aren’t good enough, you aren’t close enough.” The famous quote by Robert Capa has been a decree for photojournalists, but Addario prefers to get close in a more compassionate sense. For her first comprehensive photo essay, a series on a community of New York transsexual prostitutes for the Associated Press, Addario spent six months gaining their trust before pressing the shutter. “I was thrilled with the idea of trying to penetrate this seemingly impenetrable sector of society, so it took a long time,” she says when we meet in Soho, London. “Most of the photojournalists I meet out in the field are sensitive, patient and empathetic. I think those are all characteristics you need, because ultimately it’s all about the …

2015-07-23T12:57:10+00:00

VIDEO: Nick Waplington – Working Process

BJP

Nick Waplington is racing around, negotiating busy traffic on a rainy east London day. He currently lives in New York, but today he and his assistant are preparing and finalising the prints and framing for his upcoming exhibition, Working Process, behind-the-scenes photographs of the late fashion designer Alexander McQueen, which are now on show at Tate Britain. As we drive down Old Street, he points to a building and says: “The first time I met Lee [McQueen] was at a party there in 1995. I was with Phil Poynter, at that time editor of Dazed & Confused, and the stylist Katy England, and we met Lee, Robbie Williams and Kate Moss. “We drank all night and they ended up dressing up Kate with design ideas. Lee and I became good friends, and as a shy man he only really trusted me to photograph him.” Waplington’s exhibition, which is curated by Simon Baker, shows some of the fruits of that friendship. McQueen commissioned Waplington in 2008 to document the preparation for what was to become the Horn of Plenty collection …

2015-04-23T18:11:24+00:00

Sam Horine’s New York

BJP

Sam Horine’s photographs seem to breathe New York, but he actually grew up in Maine, the small, rural state in New England. His parents were native to Chicago, but got caught in the “back-to-the-woods movement”, he says. Horine would spend his evenings stuck in his parents’ National Geographic magazines. He started to shoot 35mm film of anything that caught his eye – “interesting patterns, vibrant colours, a great-looking face, good lighting or just plain weirdness”. At 18, he left the woodlands of Maine and moved to Upstate New York, pursuing a degree in religious studies and Eastern philosophy at Hartwick College, a small liberal arts college at the foot of the Catskill mountains. While he continued to shoot 35mm at Hartwick, he started experimenting with instant film: “Polaroid was still relatively cheap in the late 1990s,” he says. Then, in 2002, he made the big move to the Big Apple: “I moved to NY for no real reason other than I had a friend who was moving to Brooklyn and needed a roommate. It seemed like …

2015-04-17T13:26:36+00:00

© Janette Beckman

Hip-Hop Revolution – Museum of the City of New York

BJP

Hip-Hop Revolution, a brilliant and wide-ranging new exhibition at the Museum of the City of New York, showcases more than 100 photographs captured between 1977 and 1990 by three pre-eminent NYC photographers: Bronx born-and-bred Joe Conzo, who came of age in the 70s; esteemed documentary photographer and former NY Post staffer Martha Cooper; and London-born Janette Beckman, who chronicled the UK punk scene, then “visited a friend in New York in 1982 and never left”. The exhibition largely focuses on the key pillars of hip-hop culture in its formative days: music (rapping and DJing), breakdancing, graffiti and, of course, the fashion. The subjects are a beguiling mixture of local and cult heroes (Shack Crew, Treacherous Three) and those who’d one day achieve megastardom (Run DMC, Beastie Boys, Queen Latifah) — all of whom seem to share an uncanny confidence and a sense of pride in their local environs. Before you make the right turn into the main gallery space, you’re met front-on by a giant canvas of a Conzo snap from 1981. It depicts the …

2015-04-17T13:33:00+00:00

Alec Soth – Songbook

BJP

On my way out from interviewing Alec Soth, navigating the stairs from his publisher’s office, out into the rainy late-November evening outside, it seems appropriate – significant even – that it happened on London’s Denmark Street. This tiny diagonal lane on the flanks of Covent Garden has been a draw for musicians since Dickensian times, when the music halls and theatres nearby bought sheet music in bundles from the terraced shops on its route. Later, in the 1950s, it was host to a flourishing music publishing industry, becoming known as the British ‘Tin Pan Alley’, and later still The Rolling Stones and David Bowie sang into microphones in recording studios on their upper floors. These days, most of what’s left of that illustrious, sing-song past is a clutch of guitar shops and specialist music retailers – all under threat of redevelopment – the brassy-yellow light from their windows reflecting in the sheen of wet, gum-dotted pavement. Soth is here in London to lay the ground for a retrospective of his photography opening at Media Space …

2015-10-06T14:54:03+00:00

BJP Staff