Now in its seventh year, Photo London is an internationally acclaimed photography festival taking place at Somerset House, London. For four days, up-and-coming photographers join some of the biggest names in the industry for a series of exhibitions, talks and workshops.
This year, 106 photographers from 18 different countries are exhibiting at Photo London with works spanning all genres of photography. From intimate portraits to abstract landscapes and even a series of self-portraits dating back to the 1850s, the solo and exhibitions promise to deliver powerful and thought-provoking imagery.
See also: Photo London 2022: what you need to know
The Discovery section features emerging photographic artists exploring contemporary topics such as climate change, our relationship to our bodies, and gender representation, to name a few. There is also a special section called Photography breaking Boundaries which includes sculptural works by Miriam Naeh, represented by PLEASE QUEUE HERE, Paul Chapoellier represented by Seagar Galert and Adam Jeppesen represented by Black Box Projects.
While every exhibit at Photo London is worth visiting, we’ve compiled a list of 10 photographers we think are truly unmissable. There is always there are tickets left for next week’s event which can be purchased directly from the Photo London website where you can also find detailed information about the public programme.
Based in Paris and founded in 2018 by Florian Azzopardi, Afikaris is a young contemporary art gallery showcasing emerging African artists whose work is influenced by the homeland. Gabonese portrait photographer Marc Posso is one of four African artists whose work will be on display at the event. He is joined by Ghanaian photographer Nana Yaw Oduro, self-taught visual artist Saidou Dicko who creates and art photographer Asiko. In addition to supporting emerging talent, Afikaris also supports unknown artists living on the continent so that old and new talent can learn from each other.
Polish photographer Mia Dudek is a multidisciplinary artist who explores the relationship between the body and the architectural fabric while delving into themes of displacement and inhabiting intimacy. His striking images focus on the eroticism of the brutalist form drawn from three separate series of photographs: Reside, Skin studies and fruiting bodies. Dudek’s work is evocative, suggestive and a bit erotic. Not one to miss if you like the more abstract side of nude art.
Presenting on behalf of Open Doors, Max Miechowski is a long-time British photographer who examines the interrelationships between cultures and communities, the individual and the landscape. Land Loss is Miechowki’s latest body of work which focuses on the mesmerizing beauty of the UK’s east coast, which is the fastest eroding coast in Europe. During multiple trips to the region, Miechowki documented an ever-changing landscape that will one day disappear into the sea.
Winner of the Budapest International Photo Award, Daniel Holfeld will exhibit The space between – a series of minimalist photos that evoke a sense of calm and poetic lyricism. Playing with color and geometry, Holfeld’s vibrant images reveal little about where they are taken and instead draw the viewer in with their sense of mystery. Born in Ireland to German parents, Holfeld studied for a BA (Hons) in Photography and has previously had work exhibited in New York, London and Paris.
Angele Etoundi Essamba – Doyle Wham
Doyle Wham is the UK’s first and only contemporary African photography gallery and this year at Photo London, Cameroonian photographer Angèle Etoundi Essamba will present her 1993 portrait, Woman Carrying The Universe. Essamba’s photography focuses on women and more specifically on the identity of African women. The stunning black and white gelatin silver print is currently on sale from Doyle Wham but will be on view in all its glory during the four day festival. Essamba will also be joined by Cameron Ugbodu as Doyle Wham’s representative.
Recognized by the Sony World Photo Awards for his outstanding contribution to photography, Edward Burtynsky’s images depicting global industrial landscapes will be exhibited at Photo London. For the past 40 years, Burtynsky has dedicated his life to documenting the impact humans have on the planet by photographing areas we mandated such as the Chuquicamata copper mine in Calama, Chile and the Dandora landfill. in Nairobi, Kenya, where much of the world’s plastic is sent for recycling. His enormous large-scale engravings are a marvel to look at and provide a clear view of how much we have changed our world.
Working with photography, collage and sculpture, Hannah Hughes explores the relationship between image, sculpture and language. Her abstract images are rooted in the history of recycling and the archeology of discarded materials and her work incorporates everyday materials such as glossy magazine paper, pulp packaging and clay. By examining our relationship to household materials and how they can be conserved and reused, Hannah’s work explores ideas around support systems and containment.
Participating in a collective exhibition with Galerie Number 8, Betiina Pittaluga’s work is about humanity in the deepest sense of the word. Its imagery is raw yet refined and the people in it are in natural positions rather than forced poses. She often produces intimate portraits of marginalized groups underrepresented by gender, age or race. Galerie Number 8 champions artists such as Bettina who create work in hopes of dismantling cultural barriers and gender constructs.
Lou Escobar’s photos are instantly recognizable, characterized by their vibrant cinematic style and the juxtaposition between the real and the surreal. His work is evocative, playing with nuances between reality and fiction, people and places. Based in Paris, Escobar’s work has been featured in Marie Claire, ID Mag and he has photographed for high-end fashion label Gucci. Her work oozes personality with her vibrant use of color, abstract poses and a touch of sensuality.
Since the 1970s, Gray Crawford has worked quietly on his career, spending decades unnoticed and unpublished. It wasn’t until a change in the Los Angeles art scene that Crawford finally began to gain recognition for using a never-before-seen technique to manipulate color photographs in the darkroom. The result was the THe Chroma series (1978 – 1984) which depicted vivid colors and abstract landscapes created by cutting and masking basic geometric shapes through color filters directly on photographic paper. Considered one of the visual pioneers of photography today, Crawford’s work is not to be missed.
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