You know summer’s about to kick off when Photo London shows up: every May, the massive photography fair takes up residence in Somerset House, bringing with it the best photography galleries in the world. It’s an incredible chance to see what’s keeping snappers happy these days, and to catch sight of some rare old masterpieces too. Fashion, documentary, street scene, portraiture, abstraction, collage – everything you can do with a camera, you’ll find it at Photo London, so here’s our pick of four things to look out for at the fair.
This year, there’s a special focus on galleries and photographers from Iran, including Tehran’s O Gallery, showing work from the Iranian revolution by Kaveh Kazemi and contemporary street scenes by Mohammedreza Mirzaei. Iran has been in the news constantly since the 1970s, and photography has been integral in telling the story of a nation often caught in turmoil.
Recently, a photographer won the Sony World Photography Prize, and then revealed that he hadn’t taken the photo at all but had actually (gasp!) duped the judging panel into awarding the prize to a photograph created by an AI. Much controversy ensued, obviously, and the furore around AI photography just won’t die down, so you can expect a whole bunch of computer generated imagery at the fair, including a show of AI portraits by artist Sam Buford.
Loads of fashion
Fashion and photography are like suits and ties, shoes and socks: inextricably linked. Every iteration of Photo London has been filled with fashion photography, and this year is no different. You can expect shots of supermodels by Peter Lindbergh, shoots in Brixton Armet Francis and loads of unseen colour photographs by the legendary Gian Paolo Barbieri. Tres chic.
Every year, one photographer is chosen as a ‘Master of Photography’, and this time it’s the brilliant Martin Parr. He’s best known for his ability to capture British society with humour, satire, tenderness and deeply saturated colours, and has become one of the most important photographers of his generation in the process.
Photo London is at Somerset House May 11 to 14. More details here.
Want more? Here are the best photography exhibitions in London.
And while you’re at it, here are the top ten exhibitions in London.