I wonder if you’ve seen the work of Kelvin Okafor?
His sensational, life-like pencil drawings are confounding art critics and gallerists the world over.
Connoisseurs have been scratching their heads and even mistakenly cataloguing his work as photographs; photorealism taken to the extreme.
As many of you know, I’ve worked with a multitude of artists over the years, crafting their artwork into beautiful editions. Indeed, as pencil drawings are a speciality of mine, it would perhaps be the ultimate challenge to work with Kelvin on faithfully documenting such beautiful drawings…
Kelvin’s drawings also put me in mind of Chris LaPorte, who I wrote about here.
It has been a great pleasure to make three huge prints for Chris Harrison’s latest show, I Belong Jarrow, which opens this evening in Norway.
Chris grew up in Jarrow (very near to my studio here in Newcastle upon Tyne) and now, as he writes on his About page, lives in a little yellow house on the edge of a wood near Oslo.
Although he’s settled abroad, Chris is obviously still very attached to the town he recognises as home:
“I was born and brought up in Jarrow, a tough industrial town on the south bank of the river Tyne. It’s where I call home.
“I have lived abroad for more years than I care to admit. My Mother and Father are getting old and moving out of Jarrow, cutting me adrift with no way back. Finally, I have been forced to think about who I am and where I belong.
“I never wanted to leave Jarrow. I always imagined that one day I would make it my home. I realise now that I can never return. Somehow I traded knowledge of the outside world for some vital piece of me.
“With this realisation, I have returned home in order to try to establish how much of where I am from determines who I am, and to begin to understand why I can’t seem to let go.”
From April to May, fifty stunning photographs graced the walls of The National Theatre on London’s South Bank.
Hot on the heels of Rockin’, it has been great to revisit another project of Andrew’s—The Circus.
I first had a glimpse of this body of work some seven years ago and, last week, the time came again to fire up my scanner and set about recording yet more captivating imagery from Andrew.
However, on receiving the parcel of 6×6 negatives and reference prints, little did I know that I was about to experience a shock ‘blast from the past’.
Staring at me from within the box was David Weeks, the ticket inspector from my school train journey!
He was certainly a character and, on reflection, it is of little surprise that I should see him in this guise…
Periodically, it’s certainly a pleasure to return to making high resolution film scans.
Film will always own a unique charm and beauty. If nothing else, it’s interesting to be reminded of grain structure’s dominance in the make-up of a negative.
So very recently, we used to be more than happy to accept the wonderful image quality provided by film.
To my mind, this sits at odds with a modern-day obsession—the eradication of relatively low levels of ‘unsightly’ noise in our digital captures.
I’ve written before about the importance, in my opinion, for a contemporary photographer to remind him or herself of our medium’s roots, especially in this era of The Photoshop Aesthetic…
Once in a while, let’s keep some noise, I say, and avoid the clinicism!