Dazed has curated a corner at the annual photography fair, featuring a handful of the talents that we’re tipping for big things
Amsterdam's Unseen Photo Fair, an annual showcase of established and the brightest up-and-coming photographers is currently taking over the city. This year Dazed’s photo director Lauren Ford and photo producer Saorla Houston have taken residency in the fair with a curated corner featuring 13 young photographers. “We chose photographers who we felt had an interesting, original approach to documentary and fashion photography,” they told us. “Each of the photographers selected have an individual aesthetic and yet their personal work sits beautifully beside one another. We had a lot of fun curating the space and finding themes and comparisons within each of their images. If you are at Unseen this weekend look out for the Dazed space – see you there!” In case you aren't able to make it, we profile the photographers on show, below.
London-based photographer and illustrator Bafic shoots mainly on analogue because he – as he says in an early interview – prefers to “make loads of small purchases spent on film, developing and printing,” and this real interest in process and taking time to really express something is evident in his images. Of the appeal of photos he says, “pictures are great, you only get the one image. You don't get to see or hear the conversation that was had before I took the picture, you have no idea what the person is like so you see a picture of a woman with her dogs and can only imagine what sort of person she is: how she talks, what she likes in life, what she hates...sometimes I don't even know.” His recent progression into moving images (film projects from which the still below are taken) are, perhaps, a foray into finding this out.
Benedict Brink has an unconventional approach to things. Inspired by the photos that remained unchanged for more than five years on the walls of her local laundromat, she came to think it would be the perfect place to stage a show. The Spring Cleaning (2015), including works by Brink and Gosha Rubchinskiy, among others – and later turned into a zine – portrayed wandering, disaffected youth, exploring their freedom and sexuality.
Born British-Ghanaian and raised a Jehovah's Witness in New Addlington, near Croydon, Campbell Addy is a photographer who negotiates these different facets of his identity through image-making. A means for him to explore this sense of being “neither here nor there”, he told It's Nice That – both in terms of his dual heritage and his sexuality – photography became his lens for “discovering the world outside the organisation” dealing freely with subjects of sex, religion and racial identity. Niijournal, which he created to 'educate, not irritate', and Nii Agency, tackle issues of racial representation in an industry which is undeniably Eurocentric – making good on his statement to Dazed earlier in the year: “I don't want to work in an industry where I don't have anything to say.”
Dazed 100'er, Clara Balzary is a photographer whose strength lies in finding the compelling in what is otherwise quotidian. Intent on capturing “pictures that stir up some kind of emotional feeling, even if visually they're pretty deadpan,” Balzary snaps naturally-lit, candid shots of friends in her helpfully sun-drenched LA base.
Dan Regan takes photos that feel considered and stylised, yet are documentary-like and candid. His cool, uncontrived lens surveys the landscape of his dual bases of downtown LA and New York, capturing contemporary life in the quiet moments amongst the chaos.
Los Angeles-based photographer, Danielle Neu – who has been an assistant to acclaimed photographer Nick Knight – has most recently collaborated on a zine with underground punk publisher V. Vale of Search and Destroy. Taking intimate portraits of her friends, her subjects hark back to strong female actresses such as those in the films of John Cassavetes, realized through her dedication to a darkroom based process motivated by her love of the salt and silver of film.
Most recently, New York artist, Grace Ahlbom collaborated with Dazed and adidas Originals on The September Non-Issue zine that can be found in every copy of the 25th anniversary issue. In all her work, Ahlbom seems to retain this sense of timeless adolescence from her start shooting endless days of teenage boredom in skateparks just outside San Francisco, where she grew up. Speaking to i-D, Ahlbom admits to “shooting to fill a void” – her subjects are often lanky boys through which she sees something of her own identity, motivated by the notion that “society has created these roles and I want to question them.”
Studying Fashion Communication at Central Saint Martins was what led Hanna Moon to pick up a camera, taking photos for her final year project entitled A Nice Magazine. Since then, she has collaborated with the likes of Yohji Yamamoto, Marques'Almeida and Tyron Lebon, becoming one of the most exciting young female photographers working at the moment. Her projects stem from something organic within her: “You don't need a glamorous idea to start your own project,” she advised in an interview with i-D, “I think the most personal projects are the most interesting.”
Hill & Aubrey is made up of the duo Tim Hill and James Aubrey Finnigan, based in Hackney. Hill actually studied photography at the Surrey Institute of Art and Design whilst Finnigan read philosophy at Durham – and series like their documentation of British youth institutions through portraits seem to have this sense of studied gravitas to them. Even their extensive fashion editorial work is imbued with the pair's inquisitive interest in their subjects. Staring out at the viewer, their subjects are always characters who arrest through their gaze. In their own words, Hill & Aubrey told It's Nice That they “always start with character and environment, and we like to celebrate the things in front of us to create simple imagery that stands as cultural documents.”
Born and raised in Corsica, Pierre-Ange Carlotti moved to the City of Lights and turned his photographic eye over the alternative youth of Paris, capturing friends and collaborators in a hedonistic whirl of sex, fashion and intoxication. A long way from his first camera (a Spice Girls camera on which he used to take polaroids of people on TV), what has remained constantly fascinating to Carlotti has been people – people who he documents like “some kind of reporter”, he admits to i-D. Amongst these people are designer Jacquemus whom he works with and features in his portrait work, and Clara Deshayes, his housemate as well as subject of some of his fashion editorials – muses fitting for this desire to document the zeitgeist. The prevalence of nakedness in his photos, rather than purely sensationalist, is emblematic of the sense of intimacy Carlotti wishes to create with his subjects.
Rachel Chandler interned for famed photographer Patrick Demarchelier when she was studying History of Art in New York, and since then has carved out a career taking photos of her own social and creative scene. Working for Purple Diary, Chandler also frequently contributes to Vogue and Industrie, and Dazed – shooting the Art Baby Gallery initiative for the winter 2015 issue.
Photographer Sonya Kydeeva's work is influenced by the young men and the architecture that surrounds her, which, in turn, allows her to create an intoxicating black and white documentation that takes you on a journey through 21st-century Russian subculture. Explaining to Dazed in an interview last year, she said she is interested in the “aesthetics of youth and that specific moment in my subjects’ lives when they are not children anymore but not yet complete set personalities. It’s like a material to work with, sometimes I can see my camera shaping them in front of my eyes.”
With a voyeuristic, snapshot-like quality to his work, Todd Fisher is a photographer who favours spontaneity in his compositions. Always with a small point-and-shoot camera, Fisher admitted in a 2009 interview he likes to “shoot really fast. The emphasis is on grabbing the moment more so than trying to make a perfectly composed picture.” As such, his subjects are often peripheral details or occurrences that might otherwise go unnoticed, presented to the viewer untitled and without explanatory text: “I've always liked being able to just look at a picture and get everything from that experience alone, without having to know the context or read the captions or artist statements. The wrong title can lead to misinterpretations or put limits on how the work is perceived.”