All posts tagged: photobook

On the era of mass appropriation, and inventing new colours

Nick Thornton Jones and Warren Du Preez, the London-based experimental photographers, call their work “the de-familiarisation of surrealism”. In Immortal, their beautifully-produced new series of photobooks, the pair explore this idea with portraits of the human form shot with a dizzying intensity of colour and lights, as if we’re seeing, printed on paper, a fevered dream. “We were fed up of everything being watered down and diluted. It feels like everything’s hyper-referential,” Du Preez says of the genesis of the project when we meet in their Bethnal Green studio. “The editorial and art world can feel like a pool of brown mud to me. There’s a lack of process to a lot of art out there now and for two process junkies, that can feel quite depressing.” “It’s important to make your own stuff,” says Thornton Jones. “People don’t do that anymore; they sample everyone else’s and call it their own. They’re not inventing and making stuff. It’s an era defined by mass appropriation. So this series was born out of a sense of frustration …

2017-06-26T11:58:24+00:00

Project: Louis Quail’s Big Brother

“If you are on the lowest rung of society, if when you get on a bus people turn away from you, it’s nice to be noticed,” says Louis Quail. “It’s nice to be seen.” We’re talking about his project Big Brother, which recently won the portfolio review prize at Format International Photography Festival and will soon be published as a book. Shot over the last six years, it’s a portrait of Quail’s older brother Justin, who is now 58 and has suffered from schizophrenia for his whole adult life. Quail doesn’t shy away from the obvious effects of his brother’s illness, showing his wrecked shoes and chaotic flat, and including police notes and medical records that speak of medication, sectioning and arrest. But his project also shows another side to Justin – one less familiar, perhaps, in our conception of the mentally ill. It includes Justin’s excellent drawings and paintings, his poetry, and his love of bird watching; it also shows his girlfriend Jackie, who also has mental issues and is an alcoholic, but who …

2017-05-25T10:45:41+00:00

Photobook: Metropolight by David Gaberle

Five years ago David Gaberle went through “a really rough time” after moving to London. A friend suggested he pick up a camera to help process his experience, and he found that photography “really eases the experience of the sensory overload that comes with living in a big city”. By 2015 he was ready to embark on an ambitious new project inspired by this work, and invested all his savings in travelling to the world’s biggest cities to shoot them. On the move for eight months and changing location every few weeks, he covered over 3600km. “The constant search was the happiest time of my life,” he says. Originally from the Czech Republic, Gaberle studied anthropology back home and has a researcher’s perspective on the modern metropolis. “In the big cities, people spend less time with other people which means they have more time to become different, developing themselves,” he says. “There are more interesting personalities in the cities.” At the same time, though, he finds big cities can be “really dehumanising”, because “they have an effect on how …

2017-05-25T10:46:44+00:00

From Botoxed faces to yapping pooches: A glimpse inside the hidden world of the super rich

If there is a photographer who has a knack for being in the right place at the right time, it’s Dougie Wallace. For more than ten years, the East London-based Glaswegian photographer, has been turning his camera on everyone from stags and hens to Shoreditch hipsters, Bombay taxi drivers, and now the super rich. Getting uncomfortably close to his subjects with a double flashgun, Glaswegee as he is known creates colourful unforgiving images that reveal the unedited reality behind his subjects. We see stags trussed up like turkeys, scantily-clad women cavorting around London, and yapping dogs snarling into the lens. Few photographers get closer than this. In particular, Wallace’s Olympus-shot images of the global super rich in London’s elite districts of Knightsbridge and Chelsea paint a telling picture of glut and greed. This so-called ‘one per cent’ is the subject of Wallace’s Harrodsburg, a project recently published as a book by Dewi Lewis. It is nothing less than a visual satire on the ultra affluent elite and their exorbitant spending habits. Wallace, who is represented …

2017-03-10T11:38:49+00:00

Q&A: David Molina Gadea on his book project White Noise Black Mirror

Born in Tarragona, Spain in 1991, David Molina Gadea studied Arts at the Massana School from 2009 to 2012, and started to work with local newspapers shortly after graduating. In 2015 he did voluntary work in several centres for asylum seekers in Belgium, where he shot a series called The Long Way home, which was published in BJP’s September 2016 issue. He reached the final in Burn Magazine’s Emergent Photographer Fund, and recently joined the Portuguese agency 4SEE.  BJP: How would you describe your style? DMG: My work is documentary, so everything you see is what was truly going on. But when it comes to editing and sequencing the work, I try to build a less factual world where magic exists. That’s why some of the pictures are becoming more abstract, or I prefer to say ambiguous. I’m becoming less interested in depicting the world of facts, and more interested in poetry, in a kind of emotional territory. In the end it is just about documenting the world around me, but documenting the poetic and emotional …

2017-03-06T12:28:20+00:00

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

Wolfgang Tillmans’ Portrait of the Artist

BJP

“It’s not a one-two-three, but this is number four in a series of books I have published with Walther Koenig, that began in 1997 with Concorde,” says Wolfgang Tillmans. “In 2012, it was FESPA Digital/Fruit Logistica; last year, The Cars; and now Conor Donlon. All four are monothematic, in-depth, slightly obsessive.” Tillmans’ new publication does seem a little obsessive. Containing pictures of Conor Donlon spanning 15 years, the book mixes posed and informal shots, showing Donlon at work, at play, even at the barber’s. Donlon joined Tillmans’ studio in 2001 and stayed for several years, before setting up his well-respected eponymous photobook shop; arranged chronologically, these portraits mark his transition from young graduate to creative linchpin, but they also show Tillmans’ shifting perspectives on the man. “What’s interesting is the narrative shifts,” he explains. “In some pictures he is working as my assistant; others were taken after work or on holiday. But he also appeared in some of the rare fashion shoots I did. There is an image from a fashion story I styled for purple …

2016-10-21T15:05:46+00:00

A moment in time: An exploration of Cuba through the years

When documentary photographer Manuello Paganelli first landed in Cuba in 1988, he felt as if he had been transported back 20 years. “I saw Cuba as a black and white world,” he says, as he recalls how he stood out for the modern clothes he wore, and how the only cars visible on roads shattered by pot holes were sun-bleached Russian Moskovitz’s. “I thought I’d landed back in time, or like in scene out of the movie Twilight Zone, where strange things happen and are unresolved.” Paganelli, who is half Italian and half Cuban, travelled to the then largely commercially and photographically unexplored country to reconnect with lost relatives. He did so, but discovered that with each visit his curiosity for the Cuban way of life grew. Today, he has made over 60 trips. His new book, Cuba: A Personal Journey 1989-2015, is a collection of 115 black and white photographs, capturing the happenings of daily life of ordinary people during a time when having a bar of soap or a bottle of cooking oil was seen as a …

2016-10-21T15:14:51+00:00

BJP Staff