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ManRay-Barbette

Surprisingly this is the first major museum exhibition of artist and photographer Man Ray’s portraiture. Organised in chronological order the exhibition is a retrospective of Man Ray’s surrealist photography, exploring both his innovative portraits and experimentation with photographic processes such as solarisation and ‘rayographpy’. ‘Man Ray Portraits’ covers different periods of Ray’s career, gliding seamlessly from 1916 to 1968, glancing at Man Ray’s time spent alongside Marcel Duchamp, to his Surrealist work in Paris and then glancing forward to his work in Hollywood and finally his travels back to Paris once more.

The exhibition is divided and flows through a series of three rooms, each room an insight into Man Ray’s practice and development as a photographer. From Man Ray’s early surrealist and Dadaist imagery through to his commercial advertising work, all displayed in their original context appearing in archived copies of life magazine and other publications. The walls are adorned with Ray’s hand printed portraits of famous figures, writers, poets, actors and artists from capitals around the world Paris, New York and London. The original prints sit alongside and compliment one another as a documentation of an age of creativity. The exhibition expands on the commonly celebrated achievements of Man Ray and goes beyond his overly published experimentations with solarisation to celebrate and showcase Man Ray’s lesser known skill and artistry for portraiture.

Throughout the exhibition Man Ray’s notorious love of photographing women is evident, classically beautiful portraits of women hang on every wall throughout the collection. These female nudes could be perceived as obsessive, woman after woman, the female form Man Ray’s muse. The curves and contours of the female body accentuated through shadows and etchings. It could be said that Man Ray’s artistic course can be viewed and documented through the display of his successive lovers, from model KiKi de Montparnasse who Man Ray met in a Parisian cafe, to renown artist and lover Lee Miller, to Ady Fidelin and finally his late wife Juliet Browner. These images display his love for the female body but more notably Man Ray’s love and admiration for the women and creatives that shaped his life. Man Ray’s meticulous attention for detail and design, paired with his carefully cast lighting and projected shadows, with his fondness for people (notably nudes), unites as an evident and eminent display of his love of photography.

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Man Ray manages to create portraiture that evokes a sense of the individual. A representation of his friends, models and lovers in a manner which encapsulates their persona. A rare and unique photographic skill which Man Ray possesses, each portrait is rendered in a way both photographer and individual are happily represented. Though some of his work has been flattened through familiarity, this comprehensive exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery expands on his influential career and defines Man Ray as an innovative and great portraitist of the 19th Century.

‘Man Ray Portraits’ will be exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery from 7th February through to 27th May.

For more information visit npg.org.uk

Man-Ray-HelenIMG_7692Music blogged to- 2:54 ‘2:54’ (2012), listen to the album here.

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Tim Walker- Story Teller Exhibition at Somerset House

(East Wing Gallery) Somerset House, London, WC2R 1LA

18th Oct 2012- 27th Jan 2013

Tim Walker is renown for his elaborate editorial shoots and the Story Teller exhibition is a retrospective of Teller’s influence on the world of fashion and photography.

A carefully edited selection of Walkers photographs, the Story Teller exhibition is a world where magic exists, where fashion becomes a fairy tale. The exhibition feels like an invite to the Mad Hatter’s tea party. A world which at its at its heart is quintessentially english, ideals of sipping from china tea cups and eating Victoria sponge cakes but darker undertones resonant throughout the exhibition, where Walker takes more of a Brothers Grimm approach to his storytelling.

Referencing fairy tales his images pull on the darker side of fantasy, his eccentrically crafted sets capture the imagination and transport you to world of hallucinatory images and installations. His images are as elaborately sewn together as the couture garments he photographs.

With Walkers photography the focus of the exhibition the specially constructed, larger than life props and models spill out from the frames. A giant grotesque doll, a bumble bee playing the cello, snails sliding down the walls and towering skeletons sit next to and accompany his stylised prints.  Alongside Walkers fashion photographs a select display of portraits are displayed, in comparison to the dreamy narratives woven through his fashion imagery, Walkers portraits of iconic designers appear stark in contrast; Alexander Mcqueen and Vivienne Westwood to name a few.

The Story Teller exhibition unfolds as an insight insight into Walkers process and the mechanics behind his large scale sets and the designs of the couture labels he photographs. Story Teller bring is an exhibition which brings together fashion, glamour and the surreal.

Can’t make the exhibition?

Sponsored by Mulberry and on show at Somerset House. Tim Walker’s Story Teller It is also available in book format, Walker has produced an accompanying book which coincides with the exhibition. The book is available now.

To see more of Tim Walker’s work visit his website here.

The Photo Biennial is a series of free exhibitions, new commissions, artists talks, screenings, workshops and master classes which bring emerging talent and international photographers to Brighton. View the Brighton Photo Biennial website here.

Following up from my last blog post ‘Events- Brighton Photo Biennial 2012 (Agents of Change) which you can view here, I wanted to include a few recommendations of what’s on over the festival.

1. Julian Germain- The Beautiful Horizon

Exhibition ‘No Olha da Rua’  6th October- 25th November, free entry

Fabrica Gallery in Brighton

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A collaborative project which shows selected works taken by young Brazilians living on the the streets of Belo Horizonte. Taken using borrowed camera equipment, the young participants document their lives and work with the artist (Julian Germain) to edit, publish and distribute the results.

2. Preston is my Paris- Four Versions of Three Routes

Free entry, 6th October- 4th November 2012, running for the duration of the Biennial

Exhibition- Located around the city and Bartholomew Square

Preston is my Paris was originally set up in 2009 by Adam Murray and Robert Parkinson as a zine which was distributed for free to encourage the exploration of Preston as the subject for creative practice. Since then the project has developed into an independent publishing house and on the back of this Preston is my Paris has created Four Versions of Three Routes for BPB12.

You can view the Preston is my Paris blogspot here.

An original body of work produced for the Brighton Photo Biennial, directed by Adam Murray with photographers Jamie Hawksworth, Robert Parkinson, Theo Simpson and graphic designer Ben Mclaughlin. Photographs have been taken and displayed along the debated constituency borders of Brighton’s (and surrounding areas) coastlines as a means to question how electoral districts are decided and how the change might affect residents.

You can follow the routes and by doing so you will discover over 40 site specific street posters and site specific installations, download the map here.

3. Jinkyun Ahn- On the Surface of Images

Free entry, 6th October- 18th November 2012

Exhibition at Phoenix Brighton.

“The empty plot that my parents prepared for their after-life is an image of death that will be fixed eternally in the landscape, as well as, in my mind.”

‘On the surface of images’ is Jinkyun Ahn’s first major solo exhibition. Jinkyun Ahn’s work explores the relationship between his parents, and in turn his family’s relationship with death and the afterlife. Jinkyun Ahn uses photography to reflect, repeat and dismember his parents. The images Ahn presents often verge on the surreal. Ahn uses mirrors and fragmentation to ask the viewer to confront the mortality of his parents and in turn question their own.

4. The Photocopy Club- Photocopy Club #5

Free entry, 6th October- 18th November

Exhibition at the Phoenix Gallery Brighton.

The photocopy club started in November 2011 and is the brainchild of photographer Matt Martin, a really exciting monthly exhibition that goes against the norm of your standard photography show. Rather than expensive, immaculate prints, carefully framed and presented within clinical, high ceiling gallery spaces the photocopy club asks for an open submission with the only requirement being you use a photocopier/ xerox machine to print your work.

Since setting up the photocopy club the response has been incredible and the Photo Fringe are presenting the 5th exhibition at the Phoenix galley in Brighton. 100 photographs displayed on chipboard, all photocopies of course.

5. Desert Island Pics

Anna Fox (07/10/12)

Sean O’Hagan (04/11/12)

£4 Standard/ £2 Concession, 2.30pm-3.30pm

The Marlborough Theatre 

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A new series of talks produced by Photoworks, loosely based on the Radio 4 programme ‘Desert Island Discs’ guests are invited to select eight photographs they wish to have with them on a desert island, images are discussed and choices are examined, giving a really unique insight into the artists life and career.

6. Miniclick Photo Talks at the Photo Fringe

Free entry

6th October- 18th November

Various locations across Brighton, click here to check out the line up of photography events/ talks.

Miniclick photography talks is a series of free monthly film and photography based events throughout Brighton. Miniclick has been running for two years and to celebrate being about for two years they have put together a series of talks, discussions and workshops for the Brighton Photo Fringe.

For this year’s Fringe, the Miniclick Photo Talks are featuring: Laura Pannack, Simon Roberts, Gordon MacDonald, Clare Strand, Luca Sage, Aaron Schuman to name a few.

Unfortunately there is no booking service but Miniclick do advise turning up early, most of their talks are situated in local bars, so get there early, grab a drink and enjoy.

Music blogged to: Tom Vek ‘Lesiure Seizure’ (2011)

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What is the Brighton Photo Biennial?

The Brighton Photo Biennial (BPB) as the name suggests, happens every other year and is a celebration of the photographic arts. The Photo Biennial is a series of free exhibitions, new commissions, artists talks, screenings, workshops and master classes which bring emerging talent and international photographers to Brighton.

About Brighton Photo/ Photo Fringe:

A quick overview of the Brighton Photo Biennial:

‘From 6 October – 4 November 2012 Brighton will be populated by free exhibitions, new commissions, events and interventions, at a host of established and more unusual venues across the city’s urban landscape. The fifth edition of the acclaimed Brighton Photo Biennial, brings international and emerging photographers and artists to the city.’

This years Brighton Photo/Photo Fringe Theme:

The theme this year is ‘Agents of Change: Photography and the Politics of Space’. Last time around (2010) the Biennial was curated by Martin Parr and it’s only to fair to say he worked his magic. The fesitval was titled ‘New Documents’ with exhibitors Rinko Kawauchi, Stephen Gill and Alec Soth. A good article about last years festival can be read here. The article is funnily enough written by Sean O’Hagan who will be taking part in one of the Brighton Photo Biennial talks this year (Desert Island Pics) where the Guardian’s photography writer will be discussing a selection of images he would take with him if stranded on a desert island.

However as always this theme offers a nice grounding to discuss and explore the festival within a critical space, looking at the relationships between the political occupation of sites and the production and dissemination of images.

What’s Happening?

This year there is a range of established names, public work, recent finds and older photographic processes available to see throughout the festival. A multitude of events, talks, exhibitions, workshops and everything around and in between the theme and the photographic arts will be happening. This will be spread throughout the city in public spaces, galleries and coffee shops.

I recommend if you’ve never been before, downloading a brochure from the Brighton Photo Biennial’s site, its free and will give you an idea of what’s on and where. This brochure can be downloaded here.

Brighton Photo Biennial Curators and Photoworks:

This year BPB12 is curated by Celia Davies (Photoworks Head of programme) and Ben Burbridge (Programme Curator & lectures in History and Theory of Photography/ Post was American and European Art at the University of Sussex). The festival is also produced and curated by Photoworks.

Music blogged to: ‘Chromatics – Kill For Love’ 2012