Issue #7888: The Portrait Issue

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The Portrait Issue returns this month, featuring a selection of the 200 shortlisted images from our fourth annual photography exhibition, Portrait of Britain. With the UK embroiled in the Brexit debate, the award makes a timely return, presenting an alternative view of nationhood, defined not by the discord of fiery political rhetoric, but by the everyday realities of its citizens in all their diversity. 

The cover image is of Franko-B — a London-based, Italian performance artist whose work is confrontational, provocative and challenging. The portrait was taken by James Tye, one of the 200 photographers shortlisted for Portrait of Britain 2019. 

The issue, now on newsstands, or available through our app, also features Roger Ballen, who, for nearly 40 years, has operated as an outsider, working on the margins alongside fellow art brut artists. Now, a book and exhibition, featuring a life-sized “alter ego” of Ballen called Roger 2, providesa glimpse inside the workings and processes of his dark mind — a world, he says, that “reveals itself through itself”. 

Michael Jang spent four decades building a vast archive of photography documenting the streets of Los Angeles, from underground artistic communities to adorned celebrities. But, it wasn’t until 2001 that SFMOMA uncovered his hidden talent, which they are now compiling into a new book, and Jang’s first major retrospective.

The Portrait Issue also features Laura Pannack’s social documentary work, which took her to the Cracker — a stretch of land between two estates in Tipton in the Black Country, where she met the community of young adolescents who call it home. Pannack talks us through the project, revealing that by getting to know her subjects, she was reminded of the challenges of childhood that she too experienced growing up.

The Intelligence section features Trevor Paglen’s new exhibition on show at the Barbican’s Curve gallery, and, this month’s Agenda section spotlights, Moroccan-born, London-based Hassan Hajjaj, who has given the Maison Européenne de la Photographie a colourful makeover.

The Projects section introduces three more photography graduates from British colleges — our pick of the Class of 2019. Plus, find out about the best exhibitions launching this October, and Damien Demolder’s verdict on the new Canon RF 85mm f/1.2L lens. 

1854 Full Access members receive each issue with a unique collectable cover every month, and 1854 Digital Access members can read the magazine on tablet and ipad. The summer promotion lasts until 13 September with up to 75% off.

Marigold Warner

Marigold Warner joined the British Journal Photography in April 2018, and currently holds the position of Online Editor. She studied English Literature and History of Art at the University of Leeds, followed by an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London. Her work has been published by titles including the Telegraph Magazine, Huck, Gal-dem, Disegno, and the Architects Journal.