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Tag Archives: David Goldblatt

Everything Was Moving: Photography from the 60s and 70s

The autumn is a great time for the arts, creative endeavour always finds it’s feet between September and November. In the summer we get the main players, blockbuster exhibitions, new albums by established artists and the big summer films but it is the autumn when things really matter.

This autumn there are a number of exhibitions hitting London and the first to bring to your attention is this show of documentary photography at The Barbican.

Phil Coomes on the BBC website has a review of the show, here is some of what he has to say

It could be argued the photography came of age in the swinging 60s. The men and women behind the cameras became household names and amateur photographers enjoyed access to affordable high quality cameras and film.

This photographic prosperity progressed into the next decade as photographers pushed the boundaries and began to explore new methods of working, and news photographers were able to document a world re-shaping itself at the height of the Cold War.

A new exhibition at the Barbican in London, Everything was Moving: Photography from the 60s and 70s explores the shifting political and social landscape of that time through the work of a number of photographers.

The exhibition is a must see for anyone remotely interested in documentary photography with large bodies of work from photographers like Bruce Davidson, David Goldblatt, Li Zhensheng, Ernest Cole and Raghubir Singh.  Read more from Phil here

Malick Sidibe, A Ye-ye posing,1963 (© Malick Sidibé. Courtesy Fifty One Fine Art Photography, Antwerp)

Raghubir Singh, Pilgrim and Ambassador, Prayag, Uttar Pradesh, 1977

Bruce Davidson, Black Americans, New York City. From the series New York (Life), 1961-65. (© Bruce Davidson / Magnum Photos)

The exhibition details are 13 September 2012 – 13 January 2013 Barbican Art Gallery

Further information can be found on the Barbican website here


This Must Be the Place by Pieter Hugo

writes in the Guardian about Pieter Hugo and reviews “This Must Be the Place” Pieter Hugo’s photographic retrospective offers a provocative view of life on the edge of sub-Saharan African society

Pieter Hugo’s photographs are problematic. That is part of their power and their resonance. He is a white South African who came of age as apartheid crumbled and, though he cites the great David Goldblatt as a formative inspiration, his photographs possess none of the powerful political thrust of an older generation of South African photographers, who had no choice but to deal with the harsh realities of the world around them.”..…..MORE

This is from Pieter Hugo’s website and specifically about this project


These photographs came about after a friend emailed me an image taken on a cellphone through a car window in Lagos, Nigeria, which depicted a group of men walking down the street with a hyena in chains. A few days later I saw the image reproduced in a South African newspaper with the caption ‘The Streets of Lagos’. Nigerian newspapers reported that these men were bank robbers, bodyguards, drug dealers, debt collectors. Myths surrounded them. The image captivated me.”..….MORE



Rankin – todays Great Photographer and a thoroughly decent bloke

To many people, those not interested in photography, there has only ever been one photographer of note, certainly in the UK anyway, it would be interesting to know if there were similar examples in other countries, but I digress. Everyone who owns a dslr or before that a film slr would have, at some time, had said to them, who do you think you are, David Bailey?

Bailey was and is a fine photographer, he defined the look of the the 60’s a halcyon time for some. It was his pictures that made the time swing, he was influential and popularised photography made it aspirational. It does seem a shame that he is the only photographer known even today, some might hazard a guess at that royal bloke (Lichfield [Lord]) or the one that photographed Diana (Mario Testino) but do we have someone to define our times and who should be known?

I would suggest that in the UK we have a perfect opportunity to supplant Bailey in the general populations’ mind as the photographer with the excellent Rankin.

You probably know his pictures even if you don’t know his name, his work is fashion, advertising, portraits, beauty and special projects. I think he has everything Bailey had, he is supremely talented, a technician and artist. Have a look at his beautiful website

In 2010 he traveled to South Africa, you may have seen a documentary about his trip, through encounters with legendary conflict photographers the Bang Bang Club, documentary photographer David Goldblatt and photojournalist Alf Kumalo amongst others, Rankin went on a compelling and moving photographic journey to see the nation through their gaze.

There is a portfolio of Rankin’s pictures from the South Africa trip on the Independent Newspaper website here and here is an interview where he talks about the trip to The Guardian

He also went to DRC (Congo) for Oxfam

There is an Oxfam book of Rankin’s portraits from Congo which you can buy here

Rankin kicked off 2009 by inviting people across the UK to participate in his most ambitious project to date – Rankin Live! A show of two halves, Rankin Live brought the museum-scale retrospective of the last 22 years in Rankin’s photographic life together with the portraits of 1,500 of today’s British public. This was a huge undertaking that involved Rankin photographing the ordinary people of Britain. Known for his celebrity portraits he brought his skill and vision plus his humanity to a new project. You can see many of these portraits on his website here is a link

Rankin from the models’ viewpoint

James Anthony by Rankin. Photograph: Rankin

This is what James Anthony says about the experience…”

It’s a cold, wet February morning and I’m schlepping down Brick Lane in east London to have my photo taken by Rankin, one of the world’s most famous portrait and fashion photographers. The studio is a vast exhibition room in the Old Truman Brewery, a fascinating and spooky place whose former owners are mentioned in David Copperfield.

I’m here for Rankin Live!, a staggeringly ambitious project to photograph 1,000 people from around the UK. Rankin will shoot, instantly project, print and hang a portrait of each subject, with the finished photographs being exhibited in the gallery. They will also be made available to buy for £50, with profits going to Oxfam……more

So are you impressed yet by this extraordinary photographer? I think it must be time to go and have another look through his portfolios this will take you there