By Zarina Holmes
We ask five photography experts – HOST Gallery, Tate Modern, Diemar/Noble Photography Gallery, David White and Robert Gumpert – to suggest a special gift for a photography lover for Valentine’s Day and beyond.
A picture is worth a thousand words. So why not consider giving your beloved a special photography gift that doesn’t wilt, looks great forever and also collectible as an art investment.
Depending on quality, collectible photographs can range from thousands of pounds, down to £30. Take note of special talents at photography shows, ask a curator for advice and make an informed purchase at the gallery.
If the choices given are a bit overwhelming for you, just remember that the gift should be something that gives pleasure and of keepsake value. It is as simple as that.
We asked HOST Gallery, Tate Modern Gallery, Diemar/Noble Photography Gallery, David White (director of photography, duckrabbit) and prison photographer Robert Gumpert to recommend a special photograph or photobook as an ideal gift for Valentine’s Day and beyond. There is something for everyone’s taste.
Tender and everlasting
Anna Pfab of HOST Gallery recommends an everlasting image of a ‘Shoe Tree’ by Kate Peters: “I think this HOST Special Edition Print by Kate Peters would make a lovely gift for anyone interested in photography.”
‘Shoe Tree, Middlegate‘ is from the ‘Pieces of a Song’ collection exhibited at HOST. Only 100 prints will be made and sold. Each special edition print comes with a certificate of authenticity signed by HOST.
For more selections, visit Foto8 online store.
Big, bang passion
If you want to convey burning passion, look no further. Curator Michael Diemar of Diemar/Noble Photography Gallery recommends the Lacoste Elyseé nominee work by Geoffrey H. Short. “As it happens, we have the perfect Valentine’s gift. An explosion shaped like a heart.” The work is currently being exhibited at the gallery until 12th March, 2011.
For enquiries contact Diemar/Noble Photography Gallery.
Anna Ridley of the Tate Modern suggests a photobook by Mexican artist Gabriel Orozco: “I think the most recent book which would be fitting for this is our Gabriel Orozco book in the modern artists series. A lot of his work is photographic, not to mention poetic, so could be a nice suggestion for Valentine’s.”
The book’s description: “Where do we look to find art? Could it be human breath on the lid of a piano, its fleeting presence caught in a photograph? The tracks made by a bicycle riding through a puddle of water, round and round in a circle? An orange placed in an apartment window? Or a human skull, transformed by a hallucinatory, checkerboard pattern pencilled directly onto its surface?”
Visit the Tate Modern gallery shop or online store.
Home is where the heart is
Photographer David White (director of photography, duckrabbit) touches on love bigger than romance – the family. He said: “To be honest, I have never bought, or had bought for me, a photo or photo book for Valentine’s Day. However, I do have an image that epitomises love, in my opinion. I would say that though, as the picture shows my wife’s first view of our son, at 2 minutes old. Without our love for each other Louie would not exist, and he and Jane are the greatest things in my life.”
Sojournposse recommend White’s colourful ‘Fairground Attraction’ work, a tender story of a beautiful, old fashion British fairground.
All is fair in love and war
Photographer Rubert Gumpert’s suggestions are perfect for the high-brow thinkers. He offers his photography inspirations as alternatives: Don McCullin, Lewis Hine, Phillip Jones-Griffith and August Sander. He said: “I am not much of a fan of what I call the ‘Neutron Bomb School of Photography’ that is so much a part of the scene now (photos of things with no people); but I do like both Alex Soth and Simon Norfolk.”
His list of books and photographers, in no particular order:
Don McCullin – Is Anyone Taking Any Notice. (RG - Out of print I think).
Paolo Pellegrin – Kosovo 1999-2000: The Flight of Reason, As I Lay Dying.
Gilles Peress – Telex Iran, The Silence.
August Sander – People of the 20th Century.
Chris Killip – In Flagrante.
Phillip Jones-Griffith – Vietnam Inc., Dark Odyssey.
Leonard Freed – Black in White America, Police Work, Worldview.
Shomei Tomatsu – Nagasaki. (RG - Way out of print and expensive, wish I had!)
Ken Schles – Invisible City. (RG - Out of print, expensive and wish I had).
Robert Gumpert will be showing his prison photography work at HOST Gallery from 6th April – 6th of May, 2011.
A rose by a different name
For those who prefer Taschen style of fun-and-frolic, we suggest ‘Rose, c’est Paris‘, a box set monograph and feature-length DVD by French artists Bettina Rheims and Serge Bramly. It is described as: “A multi-layered opus of poetic symbolism, ‘Rose, c’est Paris‘ presents a city of surrealist visions, confused identities, obsession, fetish and seething desire.”
Order online or visit Taschen flagship stores.