News

ELLIE ASKED ME...

A few weeks ago I got interviewed by CEN8a community interest company based at Goldsmiths University. It's an interesting project that gets the students involved in the production of a monthly newsletter that goes out to a couple hundred people at Goldsmiths. 

My interview is part of a column called 'Ellie Asks' that features interviews with creative industry professionals about how they got to where they are now and how the students could do the same. 

The interviewer, Layla, saw my photograph WING at the National Portrait Gallery when the Taylor Wessing Prize was on show and got in touch to aske me if I wanted to be featured in the column. You can read the interview HERE.

L I M / N A L @ the Gallery Cafe

Last week opened my first solo exhibition in London. It's called L I M / N A L and will be on until the end of April at THE GALLERY CAFE in Bethnal Green. 

The show brings together photographs I took between 2009 and 2016 - predominantly in London, New York and the Middle East - and wants to document the "movement of a man though the last decade of his life" . 

The term "liminal" gained popularity in the late 60s through the writings of anthropologist Victor Turner. It is derived from the Latin limen, which means "threshold" - the bottom part of a doorway that must be crossed when entering a building. 

The Oxford English Dictionary defines "liminal" as "relating to the transitional or initial stage of a process" and, in his studies of rituals, Turner used it to define that moment in which something, somebody, or somewhere was in a state of transition between two defined states. 

Each photograph - along with poems, bits of dialogue or quotes by people who inspired me - is like a diary entry of my life after I moved to London when I was twenty-four and wants to reflect on the natural experience of growing up in which social relationships begin, change and end with the world in a constant flux. 

Even though my work is strongly autobiographical, after curating L I M / N A L I realised that my main preoccupation is to represent something which, despite being unrepresentable, is yet shared by all of us: in such an improvised dance that life is, we are all wearing dancing shoes, all moving through time. 

Here's a quick preview of what you'll find at the Gallery Cafe: 

'ALIENATION' OPENS TODAY IN MOSCOW

After the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize, which opened last Thursday at the National Portrait Gallery in London, my work will be exhibited at the A3 Gallery in Moscow too as part of the ALIENATION art show. Very proud of seeing JUAN — one of the three photographs included in the exhibition — being picked for the official poster designed to promote the event. 

The A3 Gallery's press release, roughly translated from Russian, reads: 

« The exhibition 'ALIENATION' will be on at the A3 Gallery from 24 November till 4 December. It features artworks by 37 artists from all sorts of backgrounds and many different countries - England, Russia, Germany, Canada, Italy, South Korea and Serbia among the others. 
'ALIENATION' is a touring exhibition that has been on show in London, New York, Philadelphia and that, after Moscow, will head to Athens — with additions from new artists stop after stop. 
The exhibition explores the importance of the state of our physical form and the various layers of our psyche, along with the way it responds to the changes of out environment. The main concept behind the artworks is how our social environment alienates us — as individuals or groups — and how sometimes it is us who choose to distance ourselves from that very environment. » 

 

THE 'TAYLOR WESSING PORTRAIT PRIZE' OPENS TODAY

The TAYLOR WESSING PORTRAIT PRIZE 2016 is finally here! The exhibition opened this morning and will be at the National Portrait Gallery until 26 February before touring across the UK. The portrait you can see up there it's called WING and is part of a series I'm currently working on called "Boy In Amber"  will be among the 57 photographs selected by the judges out of the 4303 images entered in the competition this year. I am overwhelmed. This is the curator's caption: 

« Forin photographed his partner, Juan David Serna, in Rotherhithe, south-East London. Serna appears frozen in a moment of carefree reverie. The photograph captures an instance of perfect balance, the horizon line between ground and sky intersecting hid body at the waistline of his trousers. »

It makes me happy to know the judges chose this particular photograph among the four I sent them. It is a special one. They say that, in order to take a good portrait of someone, you have to look in their eyes carefully and see if you can find your own reflection there. That's what I think me and Juan managed to do in that moment. When I look at WING I don't see him, I see us. 

U P & R U N N I N G !

Screen Shot 2016-11-15 at 07.43.38.png
« I like men who have known the best and the worst, whose life has been anything but a smooth trip. Storms battered them, they have lain, sometimes for months on end, becalmed. There is a residue even if they fail. It has not being all tinkling, there have been grand chords. » | James Salter, BURNING DAYS

If you want to tell someone else's story, the only sensible starting point you have is telling the story of who you are and where you are coming from.

So here I am, back to square one. Take the stuff you'll find here as a sort of "taxonomy" of my life as I know it in this very moment. Here you'll find those who inspire me and I call "heroes", those who once loved me and I once loved back and those who are by my side today, sharing with me all the love and lots of other things.

You will also find many I don't really know, many strangers who, for some reason or another, fell into my eyes and stayed there for a little while - which luckily was just enough. My hope is that what you'll see and what you'll read will somehow scratch at you through the fragments of all those lives, all the images and all the words I gathered here over the past few months. 

There's something else to say before leaving you to it though. One last thing. Three or four weeks after I started working on this website, I found out about the Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize and entered few of my photographs to the competition. One of them, WING, is one of the 57 images the judges picked among the 4303 entries they received this year and will be on show at the National Portrait Gallery from 17 November to 26 February before touring around the UK — I feel gratitude and I feel proud. "Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen" used to say Waldo Emerson. Such a wise man he was, wasn't he? Up and running.