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Josh Brand
Eliza Williams



With the rapid proliferation of digital photography, and the throwaway ease it offers for creating images, analogue photography is already beginning to feel like something from the distant past. Yet it is enjoying a resurgence among contemporary artists who, like early users of photography such as Man Ray and László Moholy-Nagy, are drawn to its potential for experimentation.


JOSH BRAND, Bed, 2009. Unique C-print, 35.6 x 27.9 cm. Courtesy Herald St., London.


For his first London solo show, Josh Brand is displaying a number of works that explore a range of photographic processes. Some of these are easy to unravel, such as the pitch-black print covered in brutal scratches, where Brand’s hand in the work is strongly evident. In others, Brand’s methods are less apparent, with the enigmatic results hinting at techniques such as the photogram or solarization, as well as more elaborate tricks of the trade. The works here are mostly created in a dark room, without the use of a camera or film, and some small hairs or dust motes remain in a number of the works, emphasizing the handmade quality of the prints.

It’s easy to get a little hung up on how Brand’s works are made, and ignore the affect of the prints themselves. All the works here are abstract, and many feel akin to painting, although the use of photography adds a flatness and precision that sets them apart from works on canvas.

Brand also experiments with movement, with a number of the prints appearing almost like stills from fi lm. Alongside photography, he is also strongly interested in music, and these prints in particular seem to reflect musical ideas. Most pertinently though, Brand’s work reflects a love affair with photography in its simplest form, and with the potential for unusual and unexpected effects that playing games with light can offer.


Flash Art 268  OCTOBER 2009



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