Photo London: ‘Never buy anything you don’t love!’

Reading Time: 3 minutes

White Cube was first opened in 1993 by Jay Jopling, in a small, square room in London’s West End. It now has an exhibition programme extending across three gallery spaces; Bermondsey in South London, Mason’s Yard in St. James’s London, and Hong Kong’s Central District. Since 1993, White Cube has exhibited the work of many of the world’s most highly acclaimed contemporary artists.

At Photo London, White Cube will present a solo exhibition by the British artist Darren Almond in the Studio Room Gallery. Almond’s diverse practice incorporates film, installation, sculpture, painting and photography, producing evocative meditations on time and duration, alongside themes of personal and historical memory. We caught up with the director of White Cube, Julia Baumhoff Zouk, to find out more about Darren Almond, and to hear her tips on developing a personal photography collection.

Autumnal Alps, from the series Fullmoon © Darren Almond, Courtesy of White Cube

What excites you most about exhibiting your artists at Photo London?

Photo London is the only photography fair we have in the UK, and since its first edition in 2015, it has become more and more important. It’s a great place to experience a variety of photographic genres.

Which artists’ work will White Cube be showing at Photo London this year? Why?

White Cube is presenting a special solo exhibition of works by artist Darren Almond. We are showing his iconic and very well known Fullmoon series. Since 1998, Darren has travelled to every continent to capture the natural world in the night’s stillness under the full moon. Each photograph is lit solely by the light of the full moon and is taken during the course of the night with long exposure. Darren himself has curated the exhibition, and Photo London has chosen him as 2018’s photographer of the year.

As a world-renowned contemporary art gallery, which contemporary photographic genres would you say are most in demand?

With Instagram and the world snapping away on their smartphones, photography has become more and more important in our daily lives. We are exposed to different types of photographs every day, on social media, department store advertising and on billboards.

Candid photography is the most popular photographic genre, characterised by moments that are captured while they happen, without preparing the object. Landscape Photography is one of the most classic types of photography, as it portrays a scenery and can even show the impact of the environment – Darren Almond, or Andreas Gursky, are great examples of that. Fashion Photography is very popular and a great merger between the fashion and design worlds and the contemporary world, championed by artists like Avedon, Penn and Testino, Aldridge and Demarchelier.

What do you look for when expanding your personal collection of photography?

I recently visited the Andreas Gursky show and would love to own one of his works. As I am German, the Bernd und Hilla Becher school is of course very special to me.

My husband gave me one of Darren Almond’s Fullmoons as a gift 7 years ago, long before I knew I would ever work with him at White Cube. It is one of my favourite presents I have ever received. I am a big fan of Darren and his work. I love the way he politely makes you experience landscapes all around the world. One can truly travel the world with him.

What advice would you give to those starting their own photography collection?

The photography market is very diverse and there are opportunities for every taste and budget. Like with the entire contemporary market, it is important to spend time understanding photography and its condition and processes. Don’t be shy to ask for specialist opinions. Photographs are an investment and should be treated with care. In terms of practical advice, you should always keep your art away from direct sunlight and humid environments. Frame your photographs responsibly with UV-Protective Plexiglass. Most importantly though: love your new photograph, and never buy anything you don’t love!

Visit White Cube in the Studio Room at Photo London between 17-20 May