Reading Period: 3 minutes
With all the launch of Ones to Watch 2022, Magnum Photos’ editor-in-chief and former British Log of Photography editor Claire Bainbridge, who co-edited the problem, reflects on his life and career to date
Simon Bainbridge joined British Record of Photography in 2000 and, as editor, led its modification from a trade journal in to an award-winning international mag and brand. He recently joined Magnum Photos since editor-in-chief, having left BJP in 2020, publishing their first book, Magnum Artists: When Great Photographers Meet Great Musicians , shortly after. He profits as guest editor associated with Ones to Watch , a decade after BJP’s first talent issue.
My father would bring back small piles of coloured paper through work when I was a child. I’d make them into little books or even stories with words and pictures. I was learning through play to become an editor.
The face area 1st turned me on to publications. Everything within it seemed thrilling yet really distant from small-town northern England. The cutting-edge picture taking and design, and its mixture of articles on society and popular culture, remain a good inspiration.
I studied history of modern art, design and movie. The training course taught me to question given truths; that not everything was as it seemed.
I still left college with a passion regarding culture. But I also had a suspicion of art speak and the closed loop of academia. Photography and journalism appealed. We valued their ability to connect complex ideas to a wide public. And how they are of the planet, instead of withdrawn from it.
I got a career at The particular Crack , an irreverent arts and listings magazine. Within weeks, I was the editor. My first edition was the Easter issue. I put Andre Serrano’s Piss Christ for the cover.
Art seemed relevant the first time. From Karen Finley and Annie Spread at Burning the Flag or DV8’s Strange Fish (still the most powerful art work I’ve ever seen) towards the burgeoning club and comedy scenes. I responded to the particular provocative streak in early 1990s culture. But it was a talk by Larry Sultan that will awoke my attention to the options of photography.
I moved to Greater london 25 years ago. I didn’t know anyone working in photography, and I am quite shy. But I actually put in the hours. I was a wallflower at every opening in town.
Arles is my delighted place. We first went to the festival in 2003 but couldn’t figure it out. So I just followed Martin Parr around at a distance. (He’s quite tall, and he seemed to know where to go. ) Then, through the years, it’s where I met everyone I know in digital photography.
BJP ’s initial talent issue was a decade ago. It included Ricardo Cases, Sohrab Hura, Erik Madigan Bejesus and a cover by Sylwana Zybura. The aim was to achieve beyond the established centres of power in picture taking, building a network of nominators from around the globe. A few years in, we started to get there.
I became a father 11 in years past. And now I had two daughters. It modifications how you look at photography. Certain images become more real, more painful. Diana Markosian’s School No one felt private instead of another tragic story from a faraway place.
Recently, I joined Magnum. I have always been fascinated with the agency and its mix of people, approaches and ideas. I get to work with photographers as diverse as Josef Koudelka, Cristina de Middel, Martin Parr, Elliott Erwitt, Alec Soth, Gilles Peress and Susan Meiselas. However , a commitment to the continued idea of what Henri Cartier-Bresson described as “a curiosity about what is going on in the world… and a desire to transcribe it visually, ” continues to bring together everyone.
People say that photography continues to be a new art form. But I think we’re further than that now. There is a carried on trajectory, a way of seeing the world. And I love that will. But images exist inside a different orbit now. One that is often divorced from their initial meaning or intention.