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Four Photographers To See At Photo London

From Mr Robert Mapplethorpe to Ms Taryn Simon, MR PORTER rounds-up the artists to look out for

  • “Alexander McQueen, Romantic Naturalism Collection”, London, 2014 by Mr Tim Walker. Photograph courtesy of the artist and the Michael Hoppen Gallery

Paris has had a photo fair, Paris Photo, for 20 years now. London’s had one for three. Yes, the British capital is late to the party. But still, it’s a pretty damn good party. We’re talking of course about Photo London, the annual celebration of photographic art that takes place this year at Somerset House and various venues around London 18-21 May. As well as bringing together a host of local and international galleries, this year’s Photo London includes a programme of talks from the likes of Messrs Ken Loach and Antony Gormley, Magnum Photos’ Mr Bruce Davidson and more, as well as specially curated exhibits both within Somerset House – the show’s main venue – and around the city in partner galleries. As a proud supporter of this year’s event (please do join us at Somerset House, where we’ll be serving up coffee to all those who need it), we at MR PORTER though it only polite to point out the fact that this is event is a rare chance to peruse hundreds of works by both up-and-coming photographers (who will be brought together in the fair’s “Discovery” section) and some of the great talents of our time. On which note, make sure you don’t miss the below:


  • “Agreement Establishing the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation. Al-Bayan Palace, Kuwait City, Kuwait, May 30, 2006”, 2015 by Ms Taryn Simon. Photograph courtesy of the artist and the Gagosian Gallery

Ms Taryn Simon

Ms Taryn’s Simon’s practice centres around identifying and cataloguing ranges of objects, many of which would otherwise be unobserved. One of her most memorable projects was 2010’s Contraband, in which the artist-photographer spent a week at New York’s JFK Airport photographing items that were confiscated by customs, from woodcarvings to counterfeit DVDs, “unidentified biohazards” to packs of Viagra. More recently, she gathered together 4,000 botanical specimens in her studio for her Paperwork And The Will Of Capital photographs, consisting of recreations of floral centrepieces that were present at the signing of important political documents throughout history. In recognition of her astute, satirical and always awe-inspiring work, Photo London has made Ms Simon this year’s Master of Photography, presenting her 2012 work Image Atlas, in collaboration with the late programmer and hacktivist Mr Aaron Swartz, as well as a retrospective look at some of her beautiful artist’s books.


  • “Dorothy”, 1962 by Mr William Klein. Photograph courtesy of HackelBury Fine Art, London. © William Klein

Mr William Klein

A protégé of the abstract painter Mr Fernand Léger, Mr William Klein studied art at the Sorbonne in the late 1940s and quickly found himself turning to photography. From the 1950s onwards, he received great acclaim for the black-and-white photo essays he shot on the streets of various cities for Vogue, and is today considered, alongside Magnum Photos’ Mr Bruce Davidson, one of the godfathers of street photography. Still working at 89, he is renowned for his sharp eye, but also his arresting sense of visual play and irony. As part of Photo London 2017, he will be putting both these to work to create an 18m mural for the exhibition space, in partnership with HackelBury Fine Art, which will also be exhibiting further works from Mr Klein.


  • “Lisa Lyon”, 1982 by Mr Robert Mapplethorpe. Photograph copyright Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, New York

Mr Robert Mapplethorpe

This man needs no introduction. That is, if you’ve read Just Kids, Ms Patti Smith’s excellent memoir of her time with the groundbreaking artist and photographer in 1970s New York. Or if you’re familiar with this season’s collection from Raf Simons, which has been produced in partnership with the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, and features many of his images of his prints. At this point, if you’re still scratching your head and thinking “Robert who?”, then it’s probably time to head to Google: this is essential style knowledge. But if you’re au fait with Mr Mapplethorpe’s iconic, daringly erotic black-and-white photographs, you’ll be thrilled to know that, during Photo London, Alison Jacques Gallery will be presenting a solo booth of his work – a good a chance as any to see indelibly arresting images in the flesh.


  • “Alexander McQueen with Skull”, 2009 by Mr Tim Walker. Photograph courtesy of the artist and Michael Hoppen Gallery

Mr Tim Walker

It’s one of the most enduring, and most poignant images of the late, great fashion designer Mr Lee Alexander McQueen: a portrait in which Mr McQueen leans on a skull, a cigarette dangling from his hand, shot by the renowned British fashion photographer Mr Tim Walker. It’s also the first time that it’s on sale, from the Michael Hoppen Gallery. Whether you’re buying, or just gawping, it will be at the gallery’s Photo London booth – so make sure you clamp your eyes on it at least once.

Picture perfect

  • Sonic Editions Framed Muhammad Ali, The Weigh-In Giclée Print, 17" x 21"

  • Sonic Editions Framed Michael Jordan, Red Dunk Giclée Print 17" x 21"

  • Sonic Editions Framed Janis Joplin, San Francisco Print, 17" x 21"

  • Sonic Editions Framed Jimi Hendrix, San Francisco Print, 17" x 21"

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