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THE BEST OF PHOTO LONDON 2021

Updated: Oct 16, 2021



ARTHUR STEEL b.1936

British

Galerie Prints London

Almost hidden at the bottom of one of the walls of Somerset House, I found "Well Heeled" by renowned British photojournalist Arthur Steel taken in 1973 at Westminster Bridge, my choice to celebrate Photo London 2021 after last year's physical absence and the first anniversary of Photo London digital.


2021, a crucial year for Britain. On its first year after Brexit surrounded by a ruthless pandemic which caused major disruption, Photo London was able to successfully exhibit its sixth edition at Somerset House and the second edition of Photo London Digital with more than 90 galleries around the world. A heroic work by Michael Benson and Fariba Farshad, founders and directors of Photo London. Thank you both for keeping this important event alive, a world-class photography platform to discover and connect the best galleries, photographers and collectors from around the world. A true stage for all iconic masters and emerging new talents in the art of photography.



The digital transformation of the analog age has definitely crowned its transition. Kodak, Fuji, Agfa and Ilford are now the grandfathers of the extraordinary possibilities offered by Adobe, Canon, Nikon and Apple Technology. Textures and colours were two elements in full this year, giving great strength to the content of the images. From the beauty of fashion models to the impossible-to-ignore tragedy present in many people's lives today, the Portrait took over this magnificent feast of images in a full spectrum.

The following selection was painstakingly difficult to make and it is based on my perception of what for me was just some of the best on display. I will leave some links at the end of the post where you can enjoy the rest of the exhibitors.



THANDIWE MURIU "The CAMO Collection"

Kenyan
193 Gallery Paris

Self-taught at "YouTube University", Muriu describes her work as a reflection of who she is, a representation of her colourful African culture and her passion for fashion. This collection of powerful and boldly coloured portraits is impossible to forget. Once you see it, it remains in your mind like an incandescent light. (CAMO = Short for Camouflage)

CAMO 2, 2015



CAMO 19, 2021



Child's Play, 2018 © Thandiwe Muriu



DON BROWN b.1962

British

Paul Stolper Gallery London

Don Brown is a sculptor and photographer dedicated to the representation of his wife and muse Yoko through his works of art. The original pieces are made to a three-quarter scale and not from a life cast, showing the technical virtuosity that he possesses as a sculptor. His photographic work is clean, sober and minimalist. Exquisite!

Yoko XXII , 2012


Yoko XX, 2015


Yoko XXII , 2012 © Don Brown




MARC LAGRANGE (1957 - 2015)

Belgian

Smith Davidson Gallery Amsterdam - Miami

Marc Lagrange's photographs celebrate "fantasies and desires that place beauty and dreams at the centre of his world." Privileging analog over digital, he maintains the allure of film photography by capturing the charm of the early 20th century with the strength and possibilities of contemporary art.

Black Parrot , 2015


Eskimo Girl , 2001


Icarus , 2010 © Marc Lagrange Archives




RANKIN b.1966

British

29 ARTS IN PROGRESS gallery Milano

Jon Rankin's collection of celebrity portraits is vast and has made the covers of the most prestigious magazines in the world. Beyond his striking and powerful colourful images, Rankin is also a director, producer, editor and publisher responsible for bringing to light emerging new talents to the fashion and media industry. He is co-founder of Dazed & Confused, an alternative style and culture magazine since 1991.

Furry Kate - Quiff, 2011

Eva in Green, 2010


Banana Split II, 2008 © Rankin



RYUDAI TAKANO b.1963

Japanese

IBASHO Gallery Antwerpen

Takano's images are an invitation to a fantasy of intimacy with his subjects. He shows the boundary between homosexuality and heterosexuality as a fine line to cross placed in the ambiguous zone that lies between the binary notions of human sexuality, female and male.

#15 (ca.ra.ma.ru), 1996

#54 (ca.ra.ma.ru), 1996

#30 (ca.ra.ma.ru), 1996 © Ryudai Takano




CASPER FAASSEN b. 1975

Dutch

Project 2.0 Gallery The Hague

Casper's particular style is a mix between painting and photography. Inspired by Rembrandt and other Dutch Golden Age painters, he creates a virtual space that blurs the distinction with reality and gives life to the subjects behind the surface of his prints.

Paerel Blanche, 2020

Prince I, 2020 © Casper Faassen



DELPHINE DIALLO b.1977

French - Senegalese

Boogie Wall Gallery London

Delphine Diallo is a challenging female artist projecting a rich and expanded inner world. She may be seeking to discover and liberate the group of women that she carries within her. Her portraits inspire me with a story of multiple female characters escaping from a contemporary African mythology book, venerating the beauty and power of female nature. Surreal.

The Awakening of Conception, 2021

Shiva, 2021 © Delphine Diallo



CHARLOTTE ABRAMOV b. 1993

Belgian

Fish Eye Paris - London

Charlotte Abramov presents us with a new angle to approach the human body. A friendlier way to play and confidently enjoy its beauty without prejudice. She wants us to laugh and let our imaginations see it as a perfect landscape.

Les enveloppes : Guimauve, 2016 © Charlotte Abramov


DAVID DREBIN b. 1970

Canadian

Camera Work Berlin

David Drebin is a well established commercial photographer. His images are entertaining, stimulating and seductive with a true sense of voyeurism. He also produces Lightboxes, Neon Light Installations, Sculptures and Etchings on glass. "Diamond Dust" is a collection of photographs that uses a special technique that adding glitter, during the printing process, produces a radiant and sparkling finish.

Below the Surface (Diamond Dust), 2021 © David Derbin




HSU CHING - YUAN b. 1956

Taiwanese

Galerie Frédéric Moisan Paris

Hsu Ching: Yuan was born and raised in a fishing village in the Penghu Islands. He immigrated to the United States, perhaps pursuing the American Dream. He is now retired and in his homeland of Taiwan. His photographs are definitely a reflection of his life experience, his concerns about current environmental conditions and the impact of industrialisation on our planet.

The Statue of Liberty #084, 2020 © Hsu Ching - Yuan




FORMENTO & FORMENTO

American b. 1964 & British b. 1965

ARTITLED Contemporary Herpen

Richelle Formento and BJ Formento, stylist/art director and lighting/photographer, a duo of visual creatives with an uncanny and perverse cinematic style, Anastasia 1 is part of a collection that pays tribute to the female agents of World War II who were mostly abandoned in enemy territory, having to fend for themselves to survive. Cold, sarcastic and with sex appeal, good fun!

Anastasia 1 - Spies, Lies & Saboteurs, 2019 © Formento & Formento



HEATHER AGYEPONG

British

James Hyman Gallery London

Heather Agyepong is a multidisciplinary artist, winner of the Photo London X Nikon Emerging Photographer Award 2021. Wish You Were Here is a collection commissioned by James Hyman Gallery with a prominent and satirical performance by African-American artist Aida Overton Walker. It is inspired by the presence of West Africa Princess Sarah Forbes at Queen Victoria's Court and by the postcards tradition of that time.

Wish You Were Here (1. Le Cake-Walk: Rob This England), 2020.
© Heather Agyepong



ALEXIS PESKINE b. 1979

French

October Gallery London

Alexis Peskine's portraits are breathtaking, with an enchanting composition and a very artistic way to express his concerns about the African diaspora.

Aljana Moons IV, 2015 © Alexis Peskine



SOPHIE MAYANNE b. 1993

British

The Association of Photographers London

Sophie Mayanne is a fashion and portrait photographer who launched the "Behind the Scars" series in 2017. She portrays the body as a diary written with scars that tells stories.

Zac + Rio, One Year Later, 2020 © Sophie Mayanne



CAROL ALLEN - STOREY

American

The Association of Photographers London

Carol Allen - Storey has been a UNICEF Ambassador Photographer since 2009. She is a photojournalist capable of capturing what I call 'the fractures of society'. In her own words,: "I think that photographs may not be capable of doing moral work for us, but they can trigger the process of social conscience."

GERTRUDE from RAPE IS A WEAPON OF WAR Series. © Carol Allen - Storey




GREGORI MAIOFIS b.1970

Russian

Shtager Gallery London

Maiofis is a classically trained printmaker and graphic artist.. We May Have Access to Dummies Only is from his latest collection MIXED REALITY. Shocking and disturbing, is an intellectual invitation to interact with his work.

We May Have Access to Dummies Only, 2019-2021. © Gregory Maiofis



ROBIN PLATZER


Iconic Images London

Robin Platzer images of Studio 54 in New York are here to stay. They captured the euphoria and climax of the unforgettable Disco Era.

Halston, Bianca, Andy and Liza at STudio 54 on New Year's Eve, 1977 © Robin Platzer



T H E I C O N I C

M A S T E R S



GEORGE RODGER (1908 - 1995)

British

Iconic Images London

George Rodger was a self-taught photographer who worked as a war correspondent for many years. From WWII to the war in West Africa. Horrified and traumatised by what he witnessed, he abandoned the themes of war to travel the world and create images that have been exhibited all over the globe. He co-founded the Magnum agency with his friends Robert Capa and Henri Cartier-Bresson.

Victor of the Korongo Nuba wrestlers. Kordofan, Southern Sudan, 1949.
© George Rodger Archives



NORMAN PARKINSON (1913 - 1990)

English

Iconic Images London

Parkinson is considered a revolutionary fashion and portrait photographer who turned London's streets and outdoor venues into his studio. A seven decades of reinvention and evolution made of him a real fashion 'influencer' of his time.

Wenda Parkinson wearing a tweed suit by Hardy Amies at Hyde Park Corner

London, 1951

© Norman Parkinson Archives



LEE MILLER (1907 - 1977)

American

Lee Miller Archives East Sussex

Lee Miller is perhaps the most notorious female photographer of the XX century. From modelling to photojournalism, from war correspondent to fashion photography. For her shocking style, she is credited with being the great inspiration to the legendary fashion designer Alexander McQueen.

Model wearing Digby Morton Suit, London, England, 1941 © Lee Miller Archives


LAWRENCE FRIED (1926 - 1983)

American

Iconic Images London

Lawrence Fried was a prominent photojournalist who holds in his portfolio emblematic moments of the XX century as numerous portraits of celebrities of his time. In addition, the distinction of having photographed the most Newsweek covers in the history of the magazine at the beginning of the 1970's.

Jacqueline Kennedy at the Golden Trumpet Ball in Boston on 24 September 1965.
© Lawrence Fried Archives


SEBASTIÃO SALGADO b. 1944

Brazilian

TASCHEN Milan, New York, London , Berlin . . .

Sebastião Salgado is simply an incredible photojournalist, giving all the strength of art to his documentary photographs. Graciously, he left his early career as an economist to completely engage in the art of photography. His portraits are powerful and charming and his landscapes a dream scenarios. With a unique style and special contrast on his images, he occupies an important place in contemporary photography.

Amazônia, Adão Yawanawá in a headdress of eagle feathers’, 2017




The 8th edition of Photo London will take place from 12th to 15th of May 2022



Andrés Landino




References

https://photolondon.org/photo-london-2021/

https://www.artsy.net/fair/photo-london-2021/artworks




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