Being a member of the Bloomsbury Group doesn’t always help your reputation. Now remembered as much for their tangled love lives as their experimental work, Bloomsburies can inspire a degree of hostility for their perceived snobby elitism. Certainly, it’s hard to credit the fact that the painter Vanessa Bell – sister of Virginia Woolf – has never had a major solo show till now. Continue reading “Legacy: Photographs by Vanessa Bell and Patti Smith, Dulwich Picture Gallery”
If anyone deserves to have a show at the National Portrait Gallery dedicated to photographs of their face, it’s beautiful, doe-eyed Audrey Hepburn, right? If anyone deserves to have their exhibition subtitled ‘Portraits of an Icon’, it’s Audrey Hepburn, right? She has become an icon: evoked in fashion editorials for her ‘timeless’ and ‘classic’ style; that Breakfast at Tiffany’s poster a student halls cliche; her gamine presence even posthumously inserted into adverts for chocolate. This show of 150 pictures of her neat, sweet face, her pretty pastel frocks and signature Little Black Dresses is bound to be a ticket-shifter. Continue reading “Why I’m Over Audrey Hepburn as a Female Icon”
It should come as no surprise to learn that sparks flew when Pablo Picasso met Lee Miller: he was arguably the greatest painter of the 20th century, while she had an equally extraordinary life as an American model turned Surrealist photographer turned war correspondent. And their friendship is now the subject of a new show at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. Continue reading “When Picasso met Lee Miller”
Photojournalism and well-meaning art projects about children in poverty tend, for obvious reasons, to be grim and gritty; hard-hitting and guilt-tripping. Iris Della Roca’s series and accompanying exhibition – As the King is Not Humble, May the Humble be King! – is, therefore, a breath of fresh air.
Working with children from some of Rio de Janeiro’s troubled favelas, the French photographer asked them how they wanted to be seen by others. They responded that they wanted to be photographed as princesses, fashion models and divas, Casanovas, cool dudes and kings. They didn’t want to stare mournfully down the lens: they wanted to be fabulous. Continue reading “Iris Della Roca makes the dreams of Rio’s most deprived children come true”