Photo London 2022 – Hot Shots

“Grayson Perry – Land of Hope and Glory” by Richard Ansett c/o Hahmemuhle Fine Art Photo Rag

Photo London 2022 is a full-on visual assault on the senses which will thrill, entertain and make you think about the world we live in. This annual photography fair is an unmissable event in my cultural calendar.

The fair brings together some of the very best photographers in the world and presents a range of photography in all its forms.

Photo London is certain to make a big splash, whatever your taste in photography… here’s a snapshot of my top picks.

Photo – “Water and Persian Rugs by Jalal Sepehr c/o Courtesy of Jalal Sepehr and LS10 Gallery

Masters of Photography

Invention is at the core of photography’s DNA – and Photo London seizes the opportunity to showcase the best innovative contemporary work in sensational style.

Expect delights and surprises at this year’s hotly anticipated show including works which challenge assumptions about what photography can be.

Photo credits – Nick Knight

Perhaps the biggest thrill of Photo London is that it offers a chance to see the great modern masters of photography at work.

This year’s show has a strong focus on fashion photography with two major exhibitions by legendary fashion innovators, Nick Knight and Frank Horvat.

Master of Photography Nick Knight is being recognised for his special contribution with photographic works encompassing both sculpture and painting. His work is always surprising and different.

The show features key works across Knight’s career from the 1980s until today, spanning fashion, portraiture, still life and landscapes.

Photo – Nick Knight – “Blade of Light” for Alexander McQueen

Nick Knight is well known for his groundbreaking creative collaborations with designers including Christian Dior, Alexander McQueen and John Galliano.

He’s also photographed some of he world’s most iconic pop performers from David Bowie and Bjork to Lady Gaga and Kanye West.

Knight believes that photography is the jumping off point for a creative vision that encompasses all media. His works are realised as photography, film, installations and even a vast new sculpture. I can’t wait to see this show!

“Being a photographer is actually not about what you see, it’s about what you feel and that feeling can be transformed into any art form.”

Nick Knight – Master Photographer

Shooting Stars

Photos – “Looking up the Core” by Mikhael Subtozky; “Palm Springs” by Maria Espeus c/o Alzueta Gallery; and William Heick

Photo London offers a smorgasbord of major photographic artists. Selecting what to see first is one of the big challenges when you’re wandering around dozens of exhibition spaces .

At first it’s a little overwhelming… until you get your bearings. I’d suggest planning your route!

I’ll definitely be seeking out works by Nan Goldin, Robert Capa, Sebastião Salgado, Martin Parr and Irving Penn.

Sebastião Salgado is one of my favourite contemporary photographers. His images of individuals living in desperate economic circumstances at this year’s show are powerful and haunting. They resonate strongly in current times.

I’ll also be seeking out the retrospective photographs of Martin Parr’s whose first colour series, “The Last Resort” were taken between 1982 and 1985 in New Brighton, a seaside resort near Liverpool.

His images of overcrowded beaches, video arcades, kids with ice creams, beauty contests, and fish ‘n’ chip shops remain as powerful in a post-Brexit world as they were when he first captured them.

“The Last Resort” by Martin Parr c/o Martin Parr/Magnum Photos

The Power of Photography

Another highlight of this year’s fair is a special celebration of Magnum’s 75th anniversary year.

Magnum has a unique history but it’s also showcasing a new generation of photographers including Khalik Allah, Bruce Davidson, Yael Martinez and Cristina de Middel.

Khalik Allah and Bruce Davidson offer two visions of New York urban life, focusing their respective lenses’ on communities in distress, riddled with poverty and addiction.

Photos: “East 100th Street NYC” by Bruce Davidson and “Harlem NYC” by Khalik Allah c/o Magnum Photos

The work of Cristina de Middel and Yael Martinez is more surreal, although heavily rooted in reality. They represent a new generation of photographers who question the notion of “truth” in photography.

Also look out for “The Power of Photography’ — a monumental project inspired by the long months of lockdown that includes masterworks by Henri Cartier Bresson, Sabine Weiss, Sarah Moon and Elliott Erwitt.

Vintage and Classic Photography

Photos – “Coco Chanel Watching her Fashion Show”; “Monique Dutto at Metro Exit” and “Roma Italy Fashion Shoot” by Frank Horvat

I love the way in which Photo London presents classic and vintage photography. Frank Horvat’s fashion images are some of the best in this genre and are well worth checking out.

The James Hyman Gallery will be presenting rare ‘self-portraits’ from the 1850s and the 1890s shot by one of the greatest figures in the history of photography, the Countess of Castiglione.

These “self-portraits” are some of the most incredible pictures in the history of photography, taken 150 years before ‘selfies’ and Instagram. The Countess staged scenarios and performed as different characters and personalities to reflect multiple, fluid identities.

Today her photos are extremely rare so this is a unique opportunity to see something special.

Photos: “The Countess of Castiglione” c/o James Hyman Gallery ; and “Muscle of Weeping” c/o Robert Herschkowitz

Back in the 20th Century, there’s a chance to rediscover two unique series of photographs from the 1950’s-1980s.

Ken Russell shot his “Last of the Teddy Girls” in 1955 on the bomb sites in London’s East End. They are evocative of a brave new, changing world.

In contrast, Ed Sykes‘ photographs of film maker Derek Jarman’s “Canonisation in Dungeness” are both surreal and surprising.

Photos – “Mate and Jaguar: by Frank Horvat; “Canonisation of Derek Jarman” by Ed Sykes; “Last of the Teddy Girls” by Ken Russell c/o Lucy Bell Gallery

The Lee Miller Archives presents “Surrealist Eye”, focusing on Lee Miller’s work from Paris in the 1930s through the many chapters of her life. Many of these photographs are shown alongside works by her husband Roland Penrose.

At Suite 59 Gallery there are vintage prints on the theme of ‘’The Artist and his Studio” with images of world-renowned artists in their work places including Pablo Picasso, Francis Bacon, Julian Schnabel, and David Hockney.

Frontiers of Photography

Photos: “The Cocani “by Diego Echevers Torrez; “Mourners” by Ebrahim Noroozi; and “El Caballero” by Yavidan Violeta c/o Sholeh Abghari Gallery.

I’ll also be heading for the acclaimed Discovery section to check out the pulse of what’s going on at the frontiers of photography.

Many of the photographers on display tackle important subjects and themes, including diasporic experiences, the relationship between the body and architectural space, the effects of climate change, and gender representations.

Abstract photography is well represented by Aniko Robitz’s work which looks like a Bauhaus painting.

Archive photography also captures a period in time. I love this black and white image featuring a demonstration about the “Rising Costs of Living” (1978) by Rosa Gauditano. There’s definitely a case of history repeating itself.

Photos: “Bauhaus Berlin 1” – Aniko Robitz c/o Photon Gallery and and “Demonstration Against the Rising Costs of Living” – Rosa Gauditano

World Showcase

You can travel around the whole world in a few hours at Photo London such is the diversity of international works on show.

An intriguing China Showcase features a wealth of talent whilst the Africa booths looks especially strong this year.

“Happy Eid” c/o Saïdou Dicko

Photographers from Africa and its diaspora are represented by Saïdou Dicko, Nana Yaw Oduro, ‘Àsìkò and Marc Posso who are renowned for their treatment of black lives.

I love the striking images of Saïdou Dicko who juggles with the rules of photography to create silhouettes of his models with black paint.

Latin America photography is also well represented with Albumen gallery’s “Latin American Salon” with works by photographers from Brazil, Bolivia and Columbia.

Photos: A selection of works by photographer Saïdou Dicko

Photo London welcomes several galleries that are devoting their booths to supporting Ukrainian photographers.

There’s also a chance to see Philip-Lorca di Corcia’s images from his time spent in Odessa, Ukraine in the late 1990s. The funds raised from the sale of these will go to charities helping with the humanitarian crisis.

Snap Happy

Photo: Walter and Zoniel image and the installation in use

Photo London 2022 is an immense and sprawling show but there’s also a real focus and clarity to what’s on display.

This year’s show features exhibitors from all across the globe, with 35 cities represented. As ever, there’s the usual galleries showcasing 1960s and 70s pop icons like Bob Dylan and The Stones. Ronnie Wood will be there in person.

What I love most about Photo London is that the photographic exhibits range from images from the dawn of photography to new works that redefine the medium.

You can also get in on the action. Don’t miss Walter and Zoniel’s giant-format box camera where you can capture yourself visually using a wall of multi-coloured scanners. A great opportunity to be captured on camera!

Discover Photo London – Top Tips

Somerset House c/o Photo London 2022

Photo London 2022 takes place at at Somerset House,  Strand, London WC2R 1LA between 12–15 May 2022. #photolondonfair 

Entry to Photo London 2022 will only be allowed to visitors with pre-booked tickets so make sure you obtain them in advance. There’s also a talks programme, book signings, a Nikon exhibition and special events.

Allow about 2-3 hours for your visit. The fair takes over dozens of rooms across Somerset House as well as an outdoor marquee. I’d suggest wearing stylish but comfortable shoes!

Download the Photo London catalogue

Photo London has places to eat and drink within the fair at Somerset House including a charming bar.

Getting There: The nearest Tube station are Charing Cross, Embankment and Covent Garden.

Photos: “Metagrafía 6” by Carlos Aguirre; “Chuquicamata Copper Mine” by Edward Burtynsky c/o Flowers Gallery and “Abstract Blue” by Daniel Holfeld c/o Sholeh Abghari Gallery

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