From now, through until 4 April we have turned over the ground floor of the gallery to the wonderful work of Kevin Westenberg.
We rate Kevin’s work extremely highly on the collectibility scale. People always ask me "Which contemporary photographers will stand the test of time?" Well here’s the answer – Kevin Westenberg. His photographs are exquisitely composed, beautifully lit, technically accomplished and somehow, he just seems to have an innate ability to capture a band at their peak. He is genuinely classy operator. But don’t just take our word for it. The Japanese are supreme arbiters of taste and style and a major museum in Kobe, Japan are hosting a 70 piece show for Kevin later this year.
We have 11 examples of Kevin’s work framed and on the walls on the ground floor of the gallery. The work covers both ends of the rock spectrum: mainstream and indie. Artists featured include Coldplay, Radiohead, REM, Keith Richards, U2, White Stripes, Pixies, Jeff Buckley and Oasis. Three of those photographs are presented ultra large with a 40 inch / 100cm image size.
Physical scale does something really dramatic to Kevin’s work. On the gallery wall right now I’m looking at a 40 inch wide version of the Radiohead photograph shown alongside. I don’t recall ever seeing an image of Radiohead with the impact of this piece. Taken in Oxford in 2001 for Mojo magazine, Kevin is rightly proud of this important photograph. It was the first time he had worked with the band and, as a huge fan of their work, he was understandably excited and very nervous. Kevin had been experimenting with the idea of lighting specific parts of his subjects faces (his Pixies photograph, also on show at the gallery, is an earlier incarnation of this approach). Kevin remembers some kind of "weird magic" in the studio that day, with the band completely in tune with what he was trying to do. The band were thrilled with the photograph.
A note for edition junkies: All the pieces on display are number 1 in their editions. I mention that because I know that some people like the idea of having a number 1 in the edition. Kevin’s edition sizes are small (either 10 or 25 depending on physical size).
Please come and see for yourself. It’s a small but perfectly formed showcase of what a major league talent behind the lens can achieve in his craft.
If you don’t like it I’ll eat my lunch.