Claude Cahun

Claude Cahun was way ahead of her time, a transgender Jewish lesbian and anti-fascist artist. In the 1920s and ‘30s, Cahun created a series of theatrical self-portraits that David Bowie later described as “really quite mad, in the nicest possible way”. Her exploration of identity through self portraits was relentless and prefigured the work of artists such as Cindy Sherman by seventy years. Enigmatic and surprising, her sheer extravagence of invention and experimentation are unsurpassed. She was born in France, spent most of her life on the island of Jersey with her stepsister and lover Marcel Moore, was imprisoned by the Nazis for resistance activity and died in 1972. Cahun and Moore adopte

Katrien De Blauwer

I recently bought, When I Was a Boy, by Katrien De Blauwer and published in 2018 by Libraryman. I first came across De Blauwer's collages in her publication, I do not want to disappear, published by Avarie. Both are equally enigmatic and have an aesthetic which is hard to pin down, there's this uncertainty and sense of an unfinished moment in time that is seductive. "I would like to describe myself as a photographer without a camera. I'm re-editing and re-using photographs. They're stills but nevertheless preserve a filmic vibration. The cut is the click. Making collages is a post photographic process" [From Conscientious Photography Magazine] Katrien De Blauwer, When I was a Boy Katrien De

Tony Ray-Jones

There's the iconic photograph Tony Ray-Jones took of a smartly dressed couple having dinner at Gyndebourne with a herd of cows in the field behind and others like, Cocunut Dancers, Bacup, 1968 but it wasn't until an excellent show at the Time & Tide Museum in Great Yarmouth last year and the recently published book of his photographs by The Martin Parr Foundation & RRB Photobooks, that I began to understand the sheer exuberance, humour and empathy of his work. Tony Ray-Jones, Margate, 1967 Tony Ray-Jones, Beauty Pageant, Newquay, 1967 Tony Ray-Jones, Herne Bay Carnival, 1967 Tony Ray-Jones, Brighton Beach, 1966

Marketa Luskacova

RRB Photobooks have just published a beautiful set of photographs taken by Marketa Luskacova, By the Sea, Photographs from the North East, 1976-1980. The images are quintessentially English with an outsiders temperance. "I was very touched by it all: the families with children, old women in their best hats, elderly couples with grandchildren." "The fairground and the omnipresent tents, fortresses against the wind and rain, the seaside cafes selling sandwiches, apple pies, custard pies, ice creams and teas, of course. But they also sold boiling water to women who brought with them from their homes their teapots and teabags, because to buy teas for the whole family would be too expensive." "Wh

Susan Meiselas

Carnival Strippers is unique, the first body of work by Susan Meiselas shot over three summers between 1973-75 and originally published as a book in 1976. The photographs are brutish, frank and contain a certain pathos, while all the while portraying the empathy and compassion of a remarkable photographer Susan Meiselas, Carnival Strippers, Tunbridge, Vermont, 1974 Susan Meiselas, Carnival Strippers, Lena after the Show, Essex Junction, Vermont, 1973 Susan Meiselas, Carnival Strippers, Curtain Call, Essex Junction, Vermont, 1973 Susan Meiselas, Carnival strippers, Through the Dressing Room, Barton, Vermont, 1974 Susan Meiselas, Carnival Strippers, Extra Girl, Fryeburg, Maine, 1975