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Nigel Shafran – The Well

Nigel Shafran – The Well

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In the world of fashion, 'The well' is industry terminology for the main image section of a magazine. For influential British photographer Nigel Shafran, this space has served as a place for unexpected creativity, subversive critique and wry commentary.

Shafran’s relationship with the world of commercial photography begins in the mid-1980s as a teenager, continuing through to the iconic magazine years of i-D and The Face, and into a recent resurgence in his idiosyncratic, unpretentious approach to the fashion shoot within the pages of Vogue and more. Only recently did Shafran — who is known for his delicate, personal approach of weaving together converging photographic narratives — begin to understand his continuous engagement with the commercial world as a project in itself. The Well is a space to critique and reflect the worlds of fashion from the inside, bringing his trademark simplicity and capacity to disarm the viewer into this charged, complicated world.

This landmark publication, edited and designed by Linda van Deursen, chronicles Shafran’s commercial and un-commercial approach to photography, with interviews and reflections between Shafran and his peers threaded throughout.

Nigel Shafran (b. 1964) is a British photographer known for his contemplative, domestic and humanistic approach to photography, notably in book form. Previous publications include Ruthbook (1995), Dad's Office (1999), Edited Photographs 1992-2004 (Steidl/Photoworks, 2004), Flowers for ___ (Koenig, 2008), Ruth on the Phone (Roma, 2012) Teenage Precinct Shoppers (Dashwood, 2013) Visitor Figures (2015) Dark Rooms (MACK, 2016) and The People On The Street (2018).

His work has been included in exhibitions such as How we are; Photographing Britain, Tate Britain; Observers: Photographers of the British Scene from the 1930’s to Now, Galeria de Arte SESI Sao Paulo, Brazil; Island stories: Fifty Years of Photography in Britain, Victoria & Albert Museum; Reality Check, Photographer’s Gallery / British Council; Theatres of the Real, FotoMuseum, Antwerp. His work is held in several public collections, including Museum for Moderne Kunst Frankfurt, Arts Council, the National Portrait Gallery and the Victoria & Albert Museum.

376pp, 200 × 267 mm, 256 photos
OTA-bound softcover on multiple paper stocks
Interviews throughout with Phil Bicker, Anna Cockburn, Charlotte Cotton, Katie Grand, Alex Harrington, Phyllis Posnick and Kathy Acker
Designed by Linda van Deursen
ISBN 978-1-912719-35-8
April 2022

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