Barry W. Hughes Selects

© Leonie Hampton

The premise here is simple: to ask a curator, blogger, editor, photographer or other person involved in contemporary photography to select five portfolios of work that they are currently excited about to recommend to the rest of us, placing emphasis - ideally - on work that hasn't seen heavy rotation online. The portfolios are not presented in any sort of order.

The series comes from a belief that the Internet has a tendency to briefly cohere around certain projects and, longer-term, establish its own canon of photographers, distinct and separate from the gallery and museum canon.

While these phenomena have advantages, it also has the expense of promoting a limited number of projects on a large scale, overshadowing other projects frequently equal in quality. This series, then, seeks in particular to look for great photography that counterbalances heavily distributed projects. It also is part of a general interest I have for this site to go behind the limits of my single vision, personal knowledge and time.

Today's guest is Barry W. Hughes.

Hughes is a photographer, writer and publisher. His photography and video works have been published and exhibited internationally, including solo shows in Ireland, Germany and China. The founding editor/publisher of SuperMassiveBlackHole online photography magazine (SMBHmag), Hughes is a contributing writer to Hotshoe magazine, and has curated exhibitions, reviewed portfolios and given talks for the likes of The Photographers' Gallery, Belfast Exposed, Sirius Arts Centre, PhotoIreland Festival, Belfast Photo Festival and PhotoBook London.

Hughes chooses everyday objects and situations to explore ideas such as incidence, coincidence and accident, motivated by a desire to understand the tension between the intentional and unintentional gesture. Many of his works are based on the reinterpretation of social, scientific or psychological histories and models which ultimately exist as visual metaphors.

Léonie Hampton – In The Shadow of Things (Image from series above)
Léonie's personal family life is captured with sincerity and integrity. A really powerful body of work that avoids cliché; there are moments that can haunt and amuse, which adds to the brutal honesty of her subject.

© Noé Sendas

Noé Sendas – Crystal Girls
Noé creates surrealistic images that combine traditional classicism with Hollywood chic. The elegant beauty of the subjects are subverted through erasure or heavy laden black forms that suggest film noir and horror, yet retain a kind of quiet confidence.

© Louis Porter

Louis Porter – The Anatomy of Business
Using an archive of 1980s financial newspaper photographs, Louis has created a substantial body of work that exemplifies the act of appropriation through his innate ability to redefine the potential meaning of an image.

© Harry Griffin

Harry Griffin – Gold Coast
Slick for all the right reasons with an acutely sharp wit, this portfolio uses aesthetic pleasure as concealment for the inevitable demise of physical beauty. Surface value and materialism collide with sentimentality and the prospect of oblivion.

© Geert Goiris

Geert Goiris – Continental Drift
Few contemporary photographers have the capacity to capture the sublime like Geert can; this drift between humanity and nature's competing attempts to out-do one another as master and slave adds tension to a visual poetry that refuses to give up secrets we know exist.