All posts filed under: Fine Art

Lewis Bush – Metropole

BJP

Cities are places of constant change. It’s the nature of them, and it’s what makes them attractive. But not all change is equal; some is organic, some is pernicious and abnormal. London has always been a city in flux. But, for anyone living in London, the transformations of the past few years are impossible to ignore. Huge swathes of the city have been redeveloped, remarkable buildings demolished, long-standing communities displaced. This current period of activity is unique, for it is is undoing many of the things that make the city unique. As social housing becomes luxury flats, as their inhabitants are forced out to the suburbs, the inner zones of the city become ever more homogenous, expensive and dull. This issue is what underlies Metropole, a project that aims to visualise the changing skyline of London, to imagine how the city will come to look in the future and, most importantly, seeks to recreate the sensation of feeling lost in a city that was once familiar. It’s a project partly inspired by the city symphony movies of the 1920s, films that eulogised …

2015-04-21T15:14:33+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. “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 for …

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

Allyson Anne Lamb – Beefcakes

“In America, cattle are seen as food,” says 26-year-old Allyson Anne Lamb. “People don’t see them as anything other than burgers. But there is a lot more that goes on with animals. I wanted to create a fantasy world where cattle aren’t just food. I wanted to show a relationship between the animal and human.” In Beefcakes, Lamb, who graduated from the School of Visual Arts in New York four years ago, photographed herself naked with cattle at ranches in Texas, Maine and Maryland in the US. “I was already making self-portraits to explore my identity as a young woman, and wanted to have the same conversation about cattle and identity,” she explains. “Cattle are much more rigidly purposed than I am – cows are used for breeding or for their milk their entire lives, for example. I wanted to show a woman physically on or next to a cow to say, ‘Look, here they are at the same time.’” Currently based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Lamb worked on the project from July to December last year. “I looked …

2015-04-17T13:22:25+00:00

Chen Wei – Slumber Song

In a London gallery, Chen Wei prepared for his first British show: we see a chair pelted with tomatoes, a flaking fountain of a stooped child covered in coins, a smashed fish tank with a dead goldfish, ravens pick through detritus in an enclosed space with a low ceiling. A tablecloth – once white, now stained – is spread over a long empty table. Televisions stand side by side in tiny private cubicles, a curtain partially covering them. The dialling wheel of a retrograde telephone is padlocked from use. It’s the day before the opening of the Chinese photographer’s Slumber Song at the Ben Brown Fine Arts in Mayfair. We’re minutes away from Oxford Street, and Chen could easily be mistaken for just another student or tourist. But the slight 34-year-old in trainers and a denim jacket is fast-becoming one of China’s most reputable modern artists, with solo exhibitions in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Munich, Turin, Seville, Basel and now London. “Do you feel nervous?” I asked him. “No,” he said immediately. “Not nervous at all.“ Highly conceptual …

2015-04-17T13:27:19+00:00

Tatiana Gulenkina – Things Merging and Falling Apart

“I first began experimenting with cameraless techniques in a colour darkroom in 2010,” says Russian photographer Tatiana Gulenkina, who is based in Washington DC. “I originally thought it would be a fun side project but I ended up falling in love with the process. There is something magical about working with your hands.” In Things Merging and Falling Apart, Gulenkina, who last year was shortlisted for Photo Boite’s 30 Under 30 Women Photographers competition, creates photograms, but instead of placing objects directly onto a light-sensitive surface, she suspends them above it, submerges them in water or oil, or moves them around during the exposure. “In the past, I used anything from plants and live organisms to springs, ribbons and cardboard cutouts,” she explains. “I’m not trying to portrait a particular object, and I’m obviously not the first one to come up with this concept.” In one image, Gulenkina placed a flower in a small tank of water on top of light-sensitive paper, for example, letting the stem unravel. “You can sort of see a bud …

2015-04-17T13:30:21+00:00

3055 - Out My Window, Global Skype, Amsterdam, 2014

Gail Albert Halaban – Out My Window

It started with a stark reality. “My five-year-old son Jonah was in the emergency room for a long-term heart condition which would require surgery,” says photographer Gail Albert Halaban, who was supposed to be in Amsterdam on an assignment, and had to find a way, from the hospital, to continue the project. “I realised all the technology in a hospital is remote. The doctors were monitoring my son’s heart from a different floor. They could look inside his body without being near him. I realised I could look at the world in the same way.” Gail Albert Halaban has made a career taking pictures of, and through, stranger’s windows. The subjects seem to be unaware of the camera as they go about their private, domestic lives. “At first I know it sounds kind of creepy,” Albert Halaban says. “Many people may even think it’s illegal. But I’m a friendly window-watcher.” Looking in such a way at the lives of others should feel voyeuristic; yet these are warm, empathetic images. They’re staged, the photographs taken with the consent of the subjects, yet they remain deeply, nakedly domestic; a …

2015-04-17T18:42:55+00:00

Harley Weir – fashion’s hottest property

“I discovered Harley on a blog shortly after she’d left university,” says Chris McGuigan, who founded photography agency Mini Title three years ago. “She hadn’t been commissioned much and her portfolio was still quite raw, but I could tell she’d be a star.” He’s talking about 26-year-old Harley Weir, one of the agency’s earliest signings and now fashion photography’s hottest new talent. Weir graduated from Central Saint Martins in 2010 but really broke through in 2014, with back-to-back commissions from big names such as AnOther, i-D, Pop, Arena Homme+, Dazed & Confused, Bottega Veneta, Armani and Maison Martin Margiela. She’s been working so hard, in fact, she’s thinking about taking time out to “get back to what I first fell in love with”. “It can be difficult to keep sight of yourself when so many other people come in to play on commercial jobs,” she says. London-born Weir studied Fine Art and taught herself photography, using Flickr to showcase her work and initially dipping her toe into music photography before the fashion world came calling. …

2015-04-17T18:43:34+00:00

Olga Matveeva – Feud

“Our relationship was strong, sophisticated,” says the Russian photographer Olga Matveeva. She had just graduated from Rodchenko Moscow School of Photography when, together with her boyfriend, they decided to move from Moscow to Crimea, for the winter at least, “and probably for longer”.  They were sharing a home, deeply in love. “But suddenly, something changed in the air,” she tells BJP from Moscow. “Everything became serious, frightening. Everyone stopped trusting each other.” The protests began in Kiev’s Maidan Square. Then, with a slow inevitability, Ukraine fell into war with its old master. Matveeva and her boyfriend found themselves sitting on the sofa, watching TV, comparing the news coverage of Putin’s coded invasion of Ukraine and the eventual annexation of Crimea. It was, says Matveeva, “a strange kind of entertainment”. As they flicked from Ukrainian to Russian to European TV channels, she started to come to terms with her situation. “I realised we were not a couple anymore, because we were not willing to give support to each other,” she says of her lover. So began Feud, a photography project …

2015-04-17T18:44:18+00:00

Paul Kooiker – Nude Animal Cigar

BJP

Paul Kooiker’s latest project, Nude Animal Cigar, is a wild array of variations on the three themes revealed in the title. It’s as if the weirdest and most beautiful nudes, mournful animals and mysterious still lifes built from cigar butts have been picked out from photography’s 176-year history – but although the images look old-fashioned, they have all been made within the past five years by this contemporary Dutch artist. Applying digital sepia filters to all the images, he lends the series a vintage and melancholy feel, and by virtue of the sepia treatment knits this motley trio of themes together. “My work is successful if it is about looking, and about photography,” says Kooiker in his studio, located in a quiet street on the southern periphery of downtown Amsterdam. “Ultimately, my work is about looking, and looking is the ultimate act of voyeurism. “It makes the work accessible, as everybody is able to recognise himself in this act,” he says. “It also leaves the viewer confused. What I want to achieve is to make …

2015-04-17T13:46:51+00:00

Gasometer, Aston, Birmingham, Great Britain, 2008

Hilla Becher at the Düsseldorf Photo Weekend

One of the dominant influences in contemporary European photography is wheeled into the restaurant at the NRW Forum, a grand art gallery a stone’s throw from the Rhine. It’s the height of the Düsseldorf Photo Weekend, and people of all ages are passing through the galleries on either side of us. Many of them won’t realise it, but most of the photography here is deeply indebted to this slight and unassuming woman, born in East Germany before the war, and now happily discoursing over pasta and wine in the café. She has now been without Bernd, her husband, for more than seven years, after he died from complications during heart surgery. That straight bob of blonde hair is greying. She is now 81, and sits slightly stooped in her wheelchair. You have to strain to hear what she says, yet she recounts her life with a remarkable wit and poise. Some people start to switch off at this age; Hilla Becher, it seems, could not be more connected to her surroundings. She met her husband in …

2015-04-21T18:29:45+00:00

BJP Staff