All posts tagged: Daniel Mayrit

Daniel Mayrit’s portraits of the rich and powerful financial elite

“In the past, no government had the power to keep its citizens under constant surveillance,” wrote George Orwell in his novel 1984. But where his work depicts an imaginary dystopian society, a version of the mass surveillance it describes is now an everyday reality in the West. Civil liberties, some contend, are being traded for security. That’s the debate Spanish photographer Daniel Mayrit engages with in You Haven’t Seen Their Faces, a seminal work which won the Paris Photo-Aperture Foundation First PhotoBook Award in November 2015. The book is a bizarre collection of CCTV-style, strongly pixellated and blown-up portraits of “The 100 most powerful people in the City of London”, coarsely printed on Kraft paper and bound together with three gold-coloured screws. Every image is tagged with hand-written notes and a caption, giving the same information about each subject – full name, position, company, reported net worth and/or salary. The basic data that goes with the picture of Christian Levett, for example, reads “Founder. Clive Capital. £13m salary. Net worth £250m”, presented in a font that suggests officialdom. …

2016-11-29T16:07:04+00:00

BJP #7844: Shooting the Rich

When does campaigning documentary photography become political art? Probing this question is at the heart of the latest issue of BJP, which looks at contemporary depictions of wealth and the structures that support it. The global financial crisis of 2007 and 2008 has provoked an outpouring of feeling towards the so-called ‘one percent’ and a new wave of creative responses. It’s a subject that’s having a moment, and rather than the traditional documentation of marginalised communities we’re seeing photographers who are turning their cameras towards the wealthy and privileged. We’ve just scratched the surface in this issue, which features seven recent series, one curatorial project and one archival body of work recently published as a book. But in producing it, we hoped to find out how these projects were made – and perhaps more importantly, why. There’s a range of styles on display that interrogate these ideas in complex ways: while Dougie Wallace has shot in-your-face street portraits, using a flash “to bring out the ridiculous in the situation”, Zed Nelson doesn’t want to “vilify” …

2016-02-02T13:56:32+00:00

BJP Staff