Life & Culture

See Inside the Work Books of Photographer Nigel Shafran

The photographer’s work books are going on display in an exhibition, giving ‘a window into his world’

  • TextAnother Man

Perhaps more than any other image-maker, Nigel Shafran finds the beauty in the everyday. Part of the same group as Corinne Day, David Sims and Juergen Teller, the English-born photographer started shooting for The Face and i-D in the 1980s and brought a different perspective to fashion photography. And while he’s since undertaken commissions for magazines including T: The New York Times Style Magazine, WSJ. Magazine and British Vogue among others, he’s best known for his personal work though, which has been collected by the likes of The V&A.

On Friday, the photographer’s work books are going on display in an exhibition curated by Sion and Moore – a new commercial gallery project comprising creative consultant and former agent Kim Sion, who guest curated the S/S17 issue of Another Man, and curator and writer Lucy Kumara Moore, who helms Claire de Rouen. Opening to the public on Friday, May 18, Nigel Shafran, Work Books 1984–2018 will feature 40 books in total, containing drawings, notes, small photographs and other emphemera (including actual cut grass or his son’s first tooth, apparently). These books, which haven’t been shown in London before, will provide a fascinating insight into Shafran’s practice and give, as Sion notes, “a window into his world”.

Here, writing exclusively for Another Man, Sion reflects further on these precious objects.

“Being surrounded by Nigel Shafran’s work books whilst installing the show has already filled the gallery with an air of emotion.

Living, breathing books filled with iconic images that are loved by so many. What a gift to just be in Nigel’s world.

Instant but so thought about and painstakingly constructed. Simple yet difficult. Tones and colours of such beauty that it’s hard to comprehend the emotions that are brought to the surface by turning the pages of these books. Precious and delicate. We are so proud to show these as Project 1 of Sion and Moore.

Measles, bird nests, children’s scooters, first visits to New York, invoices, Dad’s office, Lev, Ruth, camping, hand-drawn diagrams, detailed pencil sketches, car tax discs and other ephemera are included in these work books over a period of 34 years.

A window into his world to try and work out how and why he does what he does BUT the thing is, we will never know. That’s the beauty of the unknown we just have to accept that we are all so different and maybe we don’t need all the answers.

Come and see for yourself this show is a treat and should not be missed.”

Sion & Moore: Nigel Shafran, Work Books 1984–2018 is at 4 Herald Street, London, E2 6JT from May 18–June 7, 2018