TEXTURES OF LIGHT
tenderness & photography and everything else that follows
TEXTURES OF LIGHT
tenderness & photography and everything else that follows
on Tuesday, September 2nd, i’m giving a free-associative talk about my work. i will most likely end up talking about tenderness and love, and feeling (seeing and touching), but it won’t be too intense i promise. just look at the invite…jokes.
join me at Ziferblat, 388 Old Street, London EC1V 9LT at 7.15PM.
admission is free. here’s something to get you in the mood:
'The photograph must be silent (there are blustering photographs, and I don't like them) : this is not a question of discretion, but of music. Absolute subjectivity is achieved only in a state, an effort, of silence (shutting your eyes is to make the image speak in silence). The photograph touches me if I withdraw it from the usual blah-blah: “Technique,” “Reality,” “Reportage,” “Art,” etc.: to say nothing, to shut my eyes, to allow the detail to rise of its own accord into affective consciousness.’ [Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida]
see you there!
i’d like to hear your thoughts!
this has just happened. my portrait of Ian McKellen is on today’s cover of The Times! i couldn’t be happier.
there is no credit to be seen though. the picture got printed twice - on the cover and page 17. what are your thoughts on that? how do other photographers feel about not being credited? it hurts me a little i must say, at the same time though i understand that it is all about Ian and the film. what do you think?!
this beautiful image is a portrait i took of Ian McKellen playing the 93-year-old Sherlock Holmes.
i shot this portrait on 35mm film, as always. i guess i felt especially at home during the shoot since we worked in my old school building - CSM Holborn - which i have always loved the most. so great it is still being used in a creative way, i’d hate to see it turn into some bland luxury apartments (CSM has a new home at King’s Cross).
there was a magical moment by the end of the shoot which i’ll never forget. Sir Ian McKellen - thank you!
i have an exhibition - private view in east london this thursday (june 26th), come along! you’ll be able to get a new newsprint too - created especially for this show.
Four Corners / 121 Roman Road / London E2 OQN / T. 020 8981 6111 / E. email@example.com / W. www.fourcornersfilm.co.uk
Private view: 6.30-8.30pm, Thursday 26 June 2014
Gallery opening times: 10.00-6.00pm, Monday-Saturday, or by appointment.
The exhibition runs from 27 June-25 July 2014
on my way to russia or ukraine i always stop in warsaw. whenever i take trains east i feel relieved when i arrive in berlin, that’s where the actual journey starts for me. i’m not a fan of efficient fast trains because i travel for the sake of it, i don’t want to get to the destination as soon as possible - berlin is where the journey gets slower. next stop is poland and warsaw has this wonderful main station where all my favourite slow night trains leave from. take your pick - prague, budapest, vilnius, minsk, kiev, lviv. and then further on to the real, raw and emotional places - st petersburg, moscow, odessa.
on my last trip a few months ago i’ve been introduced to Andrzej Georgiew (such a beautiful surname! of bulgarian descent). he lives and works in warsaw. what an incredible person. he’s known for his stunning b&w large format portraits which are then turned into theatre posters and book covers. from what i understand he works for the national theatre a lot, and photographs actors and directors, he’s had a few big exhibitions too.
Andrzej asked me to sit for him. i have never been photographed with a large format camera. it was such a beautiful experience. i don’t like standing in front of the camera, i feel lost and too exposed (that’s why i try to work gently and quietly with others). however, i loved sitting for Andrzej, with him it’s a magical process. i’m sure it’s mostly because of his personality and the way he works. he whispers to you and only talks in half sentences when he shoots. he almost ‘flies’ around his camera, like a butterfly. he does the most extraordinary things with his hands, you read all the gestures intuitively. i took two sneaky photos with my blackberry of him at work (the two above). i loved watching him work. it was like the most beautiful spectacle which only his sitters are allowed to experience.
no one can tell me now that what the photographer shoots with doesn’t make any difference for their subject. it makes all the difference! here’s my case again about shooting on film. it feels different! not just to the photographer but also to the photographed! the concentration is different, the connection created is so strong and unique, the whole process is different, the sound the camera makes is different. i could sit in front of Andzrej’s large format camera forever. looking into an empty lens for quite a long while made me feel very empty and suspended but in a beautiful way, i haven’t known a feeling like this before. for this, and the whole experience, i’m very grateful. thank you A!
here’s another print i got this month. i worked with Lol Crawley, who shot films which i wish i had known about early enough to get to work on them too. wrong place, wrong time. i guess it happens sometimes. twice to be precise.
Lol shot HERE in Armenia where i’ve always wanted to go. i’ve heard of the film a year ago and i finally managed to borrow a dvd from him. he told me about a film roll from 6 years ago, which he had just processed. some of the photographs were taken in Armenia, the rest back in the UK. the prints looked amazing - not developing your film for 6 years takes shooting on 35mm to a whole new level. i think we should all have a few rolls of film which are kept in a drawer for a couple of years, half forgotten. i got very excited about the picture above and got to keep it. a deflated red air balloon on a wet green grass strikes me as quite an emotional image, i love it.
anyway, if you can get hold of HERE, watch it. especially if you are a romantic and love roadtrips (this film basically explains why i spend days on slow trains to remote locations). the poster is stunning. hats off to the person who took that photo:
the second film i wish i had been around to shoot the stills on is BALLAST (Winner of Best Film and Best Cinematography at the Sundance Film Festival 2008 - Lol’s first feature film, some people!). if story wise you think it’s not up your street that’s still fine, just watch the first scene, SO beautiful: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l15-HBmcOwo for any photography enthusiasts this film is a must, the light work is incredible.
and this also happens to be the best film poster of all time:
what a month. i can’t believe i’m actually writing this. i photographed Charlotte Rampling, Tom Courtenay, Olivia Colman, Tom Hardy. i got invited to do two talks about my work (scheduled for september, i’ll keep you posted) and i have an exhibition planned in a few weeks time. such an intense month, so much love. thank you!! may for me starts in switzerland. casual. my dog’s never impressed.
last time when i sat on dusdin’s studio sofa in brooklyn i asked to flick through his book of portraits. it was perfect. one image stood out for me the most, i got very excited, so dusdin said he’d give it to me and we decided to do a print swap. i posted him a nice handprint of a picture from my russian series which he picked and he has sent me my favourite image from the book.
here’s to print swaps. is anyone else in?
p.s. dusdin has the most beautiful blog, have a look: http://daily.dusdincondren.com/
last september i went to nyc to see my friend Mara and shoot for her amazing zine HAUTE FOOD. do you remember the 'milk, eggs, water' issue with my portraits from St Petersburg which came with a cool eggshell poster?
this issue is all about MEATBALLS, ha, amazing. i had a good laugh and played around with my nyc photos and created these ludicrous collages. i love them. they make me smile.
EAT YOUR VEGGIES!
i’m selling prints!
most of the photographs on my website are for sale. either as 12”x 16”prints in a limited edition of 5 + 2 artist’s proofs, handprinted (first picture),
or there is a cheaper option too: unlimited postcard sized photographs + mounts, inkjet Giclees prints (second picture).
the russian series generates interest most often. landscapes from à la recherche de la jouissance perdue are rather good too. and some single images from love diaries, especially ‘single trees for single people’.
just send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and ask about the ones you like. i could also send you a separate link to the stills if it’s easier.
one more outtake - Johnny Flynn.
a few years back i took pictures of Johnny in victoria park. the first one was published in a magazine, but i was looking at some outtakes the other day and loved the second one. it’s so natural. we were just having a laugh and he tried to look at me but couldn’t because the sun was shining right into his eyes. i miss looking straight into the sun and feeling the warmth of sun rays on my face, perhaps that’s why i picked that photo now - in the depths of this gloomy weather. anyway, since then Johnny has been working on some exciting projects acting-wise and he has also recorded another album. he’ll be touring with his band this spring, here are the dates, go see him, he’s great. that’s a nice tune from the new album: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3feE_GCMcjc. (if i were to recommend one song though it’d have to be ‘amazon love' which he sings with his sister Lillie.)
Stacy Martin, an outtake.
i haven’t worked with Lars von Trier yet but you might recognise Stacy who played young Joe in his latest film NYMPHOMANIAC. i was looking for a girl to do a shoot with and get a cover shot for Oh Comely magazine. when i met her no other girl stood a chance. it had to be Stacy, she’s that stunning, i asked to work with her right away. it was back in 2011 and i remember her telling me about her plans to give acting a go and apply to an acting school. i’m so happy her dream came true, in such a short time and in such a big way!
i really like this picture above - a fleeting, authentic moment of Stacy being her beautiful self, not particularly engaged with the camera - it’s so hard to steal moments like this with people who are photographed almost on a daily basis. there’s an air of clarity and lightness around this girl and i hope her acting journey takes her wherever she wants to be.
my dearest Parisian friend Fanny who often joins me on my winter journeys to obscure places has just sent me this photo. she said she took it in her neighbourhood near Place de Clichy. great to see my work printed that big in a city i called home only three years ago. thank you F, miss you!