We live in a post-Internet era in which production and distribution of the images are available to anyone. Questions about what elements make a photograph is considered “real” have constantly discussed throughout the last decade, but the genre has gone through the most radical change is the music photography .

The visual iconography of music and documented seduced a whole generation thanks to magazines like NME and Rolling Stone and Hashtag Printer Photo Booth, but what is the current situation with the circulation of print media in decline? This question is posed We Want More: Image Making and Music in the 21st Century , a new exhibition at the Photographer’s Gallery in London.

The exhibition examines the role of the photograph in the definition of musical culture acts l to present a variety of works from the series of photos UKG (1999-2000) Ewen Spencer to Trash Talk (2013) by William Coutts, through You and My Friends 6(2013) Ryan McGinley , which shows close – ups of the festivals- regulars. These images are proof of the reorganization that has suffered so much the music industry as photography after scanning.


Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin Lady Gaga / Dope – ARTPOP, Inez van Lamsweerde © 2013 & Vinoodh Matadin courtesy of the artists

Internet has given us an exchange economy that has completely changed the ideas of ownership and curatorship. Now, you can open Instagram just after a concert and see dozens of live images made by fans of the group. So what value is less than those made by a professional? Even the magazines (who once would have sent a photographer to do the job) will give up their social networking groups to document their actions, eliminating the middleman altogether.

The photograph on the music flowing and not for the limits of what can be done at each level -fan, artist, and photographer are constantly being renegotiated. The artist plays a key role in this game: in a world in which fans and paparazzi are what make and distribute the images worldwide, the authors have had to claim ownership of their work and the way more meaningful to do it is through Instagram.

Think of someone like Rihanna: has over 22 million followers who share a particular version of itself and presents his body the way he wants you to see (semi naked in the pool or adorned with Swarovski crystals) . She and other artists have built their personal brand and gotten millions of people follow everything postean thanks to the phenomenon of social networks. Already photographer Dan Wilton said: “Instagram is a photo shoot much better than could do any photographer because it has a privileged relationship”.


Roger Ballen. Gooi Rooi, 2012 © Roger Ballen courtesy of the artist

More and more artists who fall exhausted at the foot of technology. For example, the best djs folks are crazy about Snapchat: just make friends with Calvin Harris, Diplo and Dillon Francis to discover the secrets of their lifestyle full of extravagant parties laden with champagne.

So what is the impact of this phenomenon on paper music photographer? The work of Dan Wilton has changed to some extent: “Fewer and fewer groups called me to document their tours and it may be because they can do my work themselves Part of my work is analog and may no longer make much sense. for musicians, since they want the product instantly. the immediacy is what they value most younger fans. ”


Ryan McGinley, You and My Friends 6 2013 © Ryan McGinley team courtesy of the artist and Gallery

For this reason, photographers have had to adapt and evolve. “There are fewer photographers music that will commission because it is now easier to make a personal project and put after images in circulation , ” says Diane Smyth, the curator of the exhibition We Want More attached and editor of the journal British Journal of Photography .

He gathered all works, he discovered that photographers now do more interesting projects and the most creative artists collaborate with them to create worlds that go beyond the basic idea of the “picture of music”.


Dan Wilton. Mikaiha Can not Swim. STOB series of EHT, 2012 © Dan Wilton courtesy of the artist

Whether Die Antwoord in collaboration with Roger Ballen or Lady Gaga with Inez and Vinoodh, artistic photography is increasingly important for musicians who seek to differentiate themselves in a world saturated with proposals and quality images.

Another reason that photographers are increasingly willing to embark on personal projects is to get away from the restrictions of part of the industry and create a real relationship with an artist. A perfect example is the photo shoot for the magazine STOP EHT , where Dan Wilton followed The Bots by a ten – day tour in Europe: “The truth is I was looking for a group to do this sort of thing: exit on tour and do something personal where you have a public relations watching you to tell you what is wrong or what you want the brand. that’s why I liked it so much experience , “he says. The real access to artists is what keeps alive photography professional music and in that aspect that makes a difference with the pictures of the fans.

This change in attitude towards photography music as an art form is opening up a whole new world for professionals and, now, the Photographer’s Gallery will present an exhibition dealing with the theme: “Art galleries are increasingly open photography and pop culture in general. it is very interesting that an institution like MoMA in New York opens its doors to an artist like Bjork and how you can get to decant by a sense of the music rather than be restricted only the elite art “says Diane.

However, gender is continually evolving and now all the fans, artists and photographers have no place in this creative framework. The technology will continue to advance;artists find new ways to create and distribute their image; their relationship with fans and photographers evolve fans will be forced to find more bold and innovative strategies.

Back to Home