Friday, 27 February 2009

Maria Kjartansdottir

Maria Kjartansdottir has a very interesting show opening at The Empire Gallery, Vyner Street next week, I think it will be well worth a look... It is work Maria has done in both Iceland and Greenland....

Maurice in the Gallery

I thought some people may enjoy seeing a picure taken recently when Maurice Broomfield was in to sign some prints. Although the show is now down I am more than happy to show anyone his work.... And a book of his work will be available shortly..


I have just bought of artist David Gray a copy of his book Vampire and really cannot recommend it enough its absolutly stunning, and comes with a print!, anyway here is more about it in his own words.....:
In Cernavodă, Ceausescu’s ghost still stalks the fringes of town.
The bulk of the tenements are crumbling like rotten teeth and the
outsiders, the Gypsies and the Turks have clustered themselves into
makeshift shanty villages clinging to the city’s perimeter like limpets.
The streets and alleys are dark and lifeless, the dracul could easily
inhabit these shadowy recesses.

Vampire provides us with a powerful but understated pictorial
narrative for a defining moment in Romania’s transformation from
despotism to nascent democracy, a time of hope and despair.

The dream that days break portfolio is a new limited edition
photographic book and print series by David A Gray. Published
and produced by seventy six degrees and clear, a new series
will be released every 6 months. Vampire is the first.

The images are presented in a 10” x 8” 28 page singer sewn book.
There is a text introduction from Paul Summers and an illustration by
Marc Gooderham. The book is accompanied by a 10” x 8” print. Both
are individually signed, numbered and in an edition of 100.
I have copies in the Gallery at £25.00 soon to be online here....

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Rob Hackman's Bunkers

Here are some of Rob Hackmans ongoing photographic project on Albania's bunkers. The communist regime built 700,000 of these at the at the expense of the nations wealth, with this work Hackman has examined what has become of these relics of the regime, and how people are using the structures today...

Baghdad Calling

Now in the shop , and ahead of his talk tomorrow evening (Feb 26th) We have copies of Geert Van Kesteren's acclaimed Baghdad Calling.. Sale Price £24.00 hopefully we will have signed copies as of Friday...

Monday, 23 February 2009

Aeroplanes #2

This is a Nina Berman Photograph taken from her recent book Homeland published by the great Trolley Books....

Friday, 20 February 2009

Monsoon Mist

I have just seen some lovely work by photographer Alban Kakulya, this project was shot in Northern India during the monsoon season (Pictures below). He has also done a great body of work on Iceland taken last year just before the crash, it is not on his website yet but hopefully it will be soon...

Alban and Yann Mingard will hopefully also be launching their book East of New Eden at HOST later in the year..
I will be posting soon more of Yann's work as I currently have many beautiful prints of his in the gallery...

Hiroshi Sugimoto on U2 Album Cover, Been done before?

There is an interesting article on Pitchforkmedia regarding the use of Sugimoto's Sea scapes on various album covers, and in general, the same photographs being used on different record sleeves....... Read the full thing here...

Aeroplanes #1

For various reasons over the coming weeks I will be posting a series of photographs concerning Aeroplanes.... First up is this picture by Fernando Manoso...
Fernando is a Spanish photographer living in London and I will be having a print of this piece in the gallery soon for sale so do drop in and have a look...
Here is another of Fernando's photographs...

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Sarah Michael and an English Tradition

Sarah Michael says of her work:
"I have been interested for years in the way in which the Picturesque tradition of English landscape painting became associated with conservative values due to its emergence at a time when rural life in Britain was disappearing. It emerged as a way for the artists of that period, like Constable and Gainsborough, to create a romantic image of a way of life, which was being replaced by the industrial revolution...."
"The characters in the pictures are intended to earth the images in the true experience of tourism in Britain, which is, in my experience, is often one of getting lost and wet. The characters include a man slumped drunk under a tree after a stag weekend, a couple arguing, lost hikers, wounded walkers and territorial birdwatchers...."
More can be seen here....

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Credit Crunch and The Merrion Shopping Centre

This morning we were discussing the lack of good photographic work dealing with the worlds current financial nightmare, and felt a little short changed (Sorry!)... Nothing seemed to spring to mind immediately that summed up in anyway the problem at hand... Every morning I wake up to the radio telling me of more impending financial doom, and yet where are the images?
Of course there is Anthony Suau's first prize World Press Photo (here) but I have not seen anything really that sums up the day to day feeling of whats going on here....
Then I remembered a picture that photographer John Angerson showed me recently, part of his English Journey work, and this is it entitled Merrion Shopping Centre, Bradford, West Yorkshire, 2008. This is it:

So if anyone has any other ideas, or pictures let me know.... I have a feeling this is just a starting piont for an ongoing post.... (On another note in the gallery we have copies of John Angerson's book Love, Power and Sacrifice (Life with the Jesus Army). It's available in the gallery and soon online here...

Monday, 16 February 2009

Richard Wentworth

I have just got a couple of copies of Richard Wentworth's book 'Making Do and Getting By' from his show held at The Photographers Gallery a while ago alongside the work of Eugene Atges (which is also in the book).. Whilst Wentworth (represented by the Lisson Gallery) is primarily known as a sculptor, this book of his photographs is one of my favorite photo books... On sale at £21.00... I have seen a differently designed and sequenced version of this work published but I feel it looses some of the humour of this version and its careful editing...

2 Questions to Vanessa

So a couple of Questions recently put to Vanessa Winship:
HOST: In the forward to your book Sweet Nothings, Max Houghton says "As we linger over Vanessa Winship's photographs of rural schoolgirls in Eastern Turkey, it is as though a thousand faces appear, from generations past, present and future." I know that you have mentioned to me that often people, yourself included, see people they know in the girls in the pictures, can you tell me more about that?
VANESSA: When I met with Max to collaborate on the text for the foreword I mentioned to her something about how the images had struck me as I’d begun to process my plates and making my contact sheets.

How I had seen in the faces of the girls, faces of people I knew, my friends daughter, my sisters friend, my friend from primary school, the girl in the printing house, the list goes on.
Friends and colleagues and even people who I met along the way, have commented on their own personal sense of connection to these images, a recognition of an expression, a mood, an identification of something or someone close

And yet when I made the images I saw only the girls themselves as they stood before me. I saw their flesh and blood and emotion. I saw the moment before and the moment after; the images themselves become the moment in between.

There is something in the two-dimensional image itself, i.e. the photograph, that allows us to see both who is in front of us, and also to be taken somewhere else, a trigger of a memory from our own histories, and or from our fantasies.

Photographs are a wonderful alchemical amalgam of all of these things; this is their true beauty.

The photograph is almost the fictionalized truth of all these elements.
HOST:We have discussed the fact that people have quite varied reactions to the photographs, as in some people find them quite haunting and ghostly, Whereas others find them quite the opposite, more calming and nostalgic... What do you think it is in the pictures that give such varied impressions and reactions?
VANESSA: I think it’s simple really. I suppose what I’ve created kind of bucks a trend of some contemporary portraiture, and I also do consider my work to be contemporary portraiture, which has until fairly recently, favoured what seems to be passive expressions, very often the subject appears lost in their own world looking off into the middle distance, disconnected if you like…perhaps a reflection of the societies we live in?
Why people’s emotions are varied, is probably because the expressions and emotions on the girls faces themselves are varied.

We all make are own choices in who and how we want to identify with people in general, and is this case, with the girls.

These images feel raw in that they show complete and direct openness, of emotion, and vulnerability without contrivance.

In a way they take you by surprise because at first they all seem the same, because of the structure of the repetition and the uniform.
But once you are caught by their expression and body language you are caught, captivated to stay and wonder at the details, to ask questions perhaps, it is as if the are insisting upon your acknowledgment of their existence.

Friday, 13 February 2009

Fuji Prints

Chris Steele Perkins recently dropped in some prints from his body of work and book Fuji (if you have not seen the book its well worth a look), they are all 20"x 24" archival ink jets, here are a couple of the ones we now have... I also have a few copies of the book Fuji, some of which are signed... Both prints and books are for sale.. H

World Press Photo Winners Announced

All the winners have just been announced, and can be seen here...
At a first glance Berthold Steinhilbers Picture: Mountain bike race, Les Deux Alpes, France, grasped me and is really quite beautiful, Berthold is not actually a sports photographer, see more of his work here, I especially like his Passbild Project, in the lanscape section....

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Book Titles

We are currently working on a book of the photographs (above) of Maurice Broomfield, whose work we had on show at the end of last year.. This Morning we were discussing titles for the book and it reminded me of genius piece that Alec Soth posted on his old blog about good and bad titles for Photo Books, Read it here...
Whilst searching that post , i came across this other post of his, on famous books original titles, which can be read here...

Meet The Editors: Portfolio Reviews

Foto8 once again opens its doors for amateur and professional photographers alike to come and have their portfolios reviewed by the people behind Foto8 and HOST and our two esteemed guests, Monica Allende, picture editor of The Sunday Times Magazine and Nick Galvin, global archive director of Magnum Photos
Find out more here...

Vanessa Winship

Currently in the gallery we are proud to be showing Vanessa Winship's acclaimed body of work, Sweet Nothings, portraits of schoolgirls from the borderlands of Eastern Anatolia..
The show runs until early March, and I am hoping Vanessa will talk to me about the work for the blog..

The gallery

Welcome to the HOST Gallery Blog

The above title really says it all, Welcome..
For those of you who are not aware, HOST Gallery is an East London venue dedicated to showing innovative, engaging, exciting, beautiful, often challenging but always inspiring documentary based photography, from both emerging talents and more celebrated and established photographers
When I say "documentary based" I mean it in the broadest sense of the word, and I am sure and hopeful that more thoughts and discussion on what that actually means will follow...
With the HOST blog I hope to show and provoke a dialogue and live platform in which to share and celebrate great work..
Anyway this is the first post and lets see if it works....
A warm Welcome