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  • Frankie McAllister

PhotoLondon

A couple of weeks ago, we had a big week in London Photography circles. We had PhotoLondon, Offprint, Peckham24 and more. PhotoLondon in particular was huge and varied, a trade show more than exhibition. So much great stuff to see, so much ordinary work too, raising questions about the route to critical and professional success – some of it is of course talent and expertise (and heart and mind), pure and simple. Some work transcends situation and genre and stands out. Some of it is more generic and begs the question, why this person’s work and not that person’s, someone I know maybe, someone better? In fact I started taking pictures of pieces I saw that closely resembled work made by artist friends of mine, but there were so many I gave up after a while. There are so many strands to gaining recognition in the arts and sadly artists, whether photographers, painters, writers or whatever, are often not best suited temperamentally to promoting themselves or making the right connections. It’s the same in every walk of life of course, but it seems especially sad in the arts, the very mediums of expression and elucidation and creativity, that depend on a rich creative interior to make good work, or even to want to make it. It should be the place where the sensitive, imaginative or creative person can express and project themself. But work alone can’t speak for itself and talented creative people are often their own worst enemies, hampered by reticence or shyness, by social awkwardness or lack of confidence, often the very traits that feed into that rich creative interior. It makes me sad!

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