In the fashion world, the name of this 64-year-old British photographer doesn’t need an introduction. Known worldwide for working with John Galliano, Alexander McQueen, or Yohji Yamamoto, which changed the course of fashion photography, he is, arguably, living history. He has also created award-winning fashion editorials for publications such as Vogue or Dazed starring icons like Linda Evangelista, Lady Gaga, or Björk.
It seems obvious, then, why Photo London's founders Michael Benson and Fariba Farshad have said that they were “excited to see a strong edition taking shape.” After all, this is possibly their most ambitious edition to date. With the 2020 edition held in a completely digital format and last year's edition attempting to return to their original formula, it is more than evident that the effort put into this year's edition is to establish itself once again as the photography exhibition par excellence. Last September, moreover, had some absentees due to travel restrictions in the context of the rising pandemic. Therefore, those who were unable to attend at that time are now being compensated.
Tim Clark – curator, writer, and Editor-in-Chief of the photography quarterly 1000 Words —, with the support of Nikon, will present the award for the most outstanding emerging photographer alongside last edition’s winner Heather Agyepong. Still, there’s more to see. Being known for their selection of up-and-coming photographers, Clark also has curated the exhibit Photography Breaking Boundaries, featuring sculptural works and exclusive NFTs; duo Walter & Zoniel’s Rainbow Camera; and collaboration with Hi-noon gallery.
However, our eyes are on the talks and exhibitions section, which will deal with the changing frontiers of this craft. It’s been over three decades that Nick Knight has been a pioneer of the avant-garde photography movement. His style, which flows between documentary, innovation, and the alignment of movement within the latest fashion trends, is the perfect representation of the never-ending question of where photography is going towards to. Perhaps growing a nonstop innovator, his interest on what photography can reveal instead of focusing on it as a sole image is what makes him the world renowned photographer he is nowadays. That’s why when asked about the exhibition his answer has been that his “quest has always been to use photography to show me things I could not see. Photography has been my passport into life, giving me access to people from all backgrounds and walks of life.”
This life, which Nick Knight considers goes beyond what is visible at first sight, fits in very well with the imagery of the photographer Frank Horvat, who also died in 2020 and to whom this edition of Photo London pays homage. His daughter Fiammetta has curated an ode to Hovart’s works, which conveys a career of constant experimentation and adaptation. Creating unorthodoxy images, his images are full of complexity that go beyond what seems realistic.