Archive for July, 2011

John Gay

Saturday, July 23rd, 2011

Just come across the work of John Gay, a German photographer who fled the Nazis in 1933 and lived in England most of his life.

A group of black-faced sheep in show coats at the Royal Show, Bristol. July 1958. © John Gay

A group of black-faced sheep in show coats at the Royal Show, Bristol. July 1958. © John Gay

When he died in 1999 he left behind 40,000 negatives. He clearly loved taking pictures of Britain, or what my German wife likes to call the “funny little island”.

He was a true craftsman.

The Constant Eye, Vol.2: Theresienstadt

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011
The Constant Eye, Vol.2: Theresienstadt

The Constant Eye, Vol.2: Theresienstadt

The second volume of The Constant Eye is now available from Blurb. You can preview the book and buy it here.

I visited the Czech town of Terezín in November 2003 without really knowing what to expect. I found an old Hapsburg fortified town that had been used by the Nazis as a transit camp for Jewish families from all over Europe, where intense overcrowding, malnourishment, disease and brutality had claimed tens of thousands of lives. Attached to the main town is a smaller fortress used as a Gestapo prison where thousands were tortured to death.

The visit made a profound impact on me, and began my Prisons of Conscience project.

Please have a look at the book, but for another way to see the pictures you can watch the slideshow movie below, or you can visit the gallery here.

Vivian Maier

Friday, July 8th, 2011

There’s some great work on show as part of the London Street Photography Festival these days. I attended the opening of the much heralded Vivian Maier: A Life Uncovered at the Gymnasium in Kings Cross with an open mind – was she really as good as everyone says?

(If you don’t know the Vivian Maier story then this is a pretty good place to start.)

"Late 1956" Courtesy vivianmaier.com (© Vivian Maier)

"Late 1956" Courtesy vivianmaier.com (© Vivian Maier)

Well, after all the hype, it was my turn to be impressed. There is a wonderful spread of work on show in this exhibition, including some of her 8mm movies, but it’s the square Rollei work that is the most impressive. This was a woman who really knew what she was doing – the technical prowess is superb. Street photography at its best.

"Untitled, Unknown" Courtesy vivianmaier.com (© Vivian Maier)

"Untitled, Unknown" Courtesy vivianmaier.com (© Vivian Maier)

An extra delight on seeing the show is the breadth of her repertoire. She didn’t just take observational street pictures but also fascinating portraits. I highly recommend a visit. The show closes on 24 July.

"Untitled, 1956" Courtesy vivianmaier.com (© Vivian Maier)

"Untitled, 1956" Courtesy vivianmaier.com (© Vivian Maier)