Is this what Stephen Shore thinks of London?
A dog, a pub and a pea-green soup featured in the Instagram posts from his Photo London trip - oh dear. . .
Stephen Shore was in London a few days ago, and posted a great selection of images shot in the city on Instagram. A pub, a bulldog and what looks like a very green pea soup, all feature in these shots, capturing the city as only Shore can. Does the place really look like that?
The photographer certainly captured some of the grit of the city, and also snatches of the high life that's flourished in London over the past few decades; with good connections, a relatively benign tax regime, and a sense of openness, it remains a popular spot for the world's super rich. Is this how we will remember the capital during the Brexit years? Perhaps.
The photographer was in town, as a guest of honour at Photo London. Shore was the fair’s 2019 Master of Photography, and showed two bodies of work. One set of images was called Details; these were taken quite recently on a Hasselblad X1D camera, and, as the fair explained, the pictures feature “found arrangements of natural material and street detritus, bringing their subtle nuances into macro focus.”
The other set of shots, however, are a little older and grainier. Entitled Los Angeles, California, February 4th, 1969, these black-and-white images were taken over the course of one day in Los Angeles. They were shot before Shore made the jump to colour film, but after he made his name shooting pictures at Warhol’s Factory, during the mid-to-late 1960s.
Though Shore appreciated the insight into artists and artistry Warhol had offered him, he says he knew he had to reach beyond Andy’s milieu if he was going to create truly great work.
"I think I've always been ambitious,” he told CNN a few days ago. “I saw people there [at the Factory], it was clear this was the golden age in their life. I really lucked out being at the right place at the right time. But I wanted to get on with my life, and I didn't want to be just a person at the Factory."
His ‘69 LA jaunt was far less glamorous than a day by Warhol’s side. Shore accompanied his father on a business trip to the West Coast in order to take his 1969 pictures. "He had a car and driver for the day,” Shore recalls. “I just took pictures out the car window.”
Half a century on, he's still showing us a side of the world that so many other photographers simply overlook. To see more of his work, browse through our Stephen Shore books here; and to own a signed numbered print by this acclaimed photographer, take a look at our Collector’s Editions.