One of the difficulties that an artist faces before an exhibition is trusting the curator – it is not easy to let someone else decide which and how many works will be displayed and in what order. “Some of the worst shows I’ve ever seen have been curated by the artist”, confesses the British photographer John Rankin Waddell – Rankin. “ There are images that I love, which nobody cares about and images which I hate, which everybody seems to love . You have to you let other people help you, because they can be much more objective”. From the 18th of October to the 24th of February, the ’29 Arts in Progress’ gallery in Milan will be hosting Rankin – from portraiture to fashion, curated by Eugenio Calini.
The cultural partner of the exhibit is Piaget. The Maison has always encouraged creativity and expertise among its designers, craftsmen and craftswomen but has also been sensitive to the talent of artists by building relationship with prominent figures in the world of Art. Being modern, in the photography field, is an intellectual speculation: “When anybody can take a picture and make it look good with a filter, it means the medium has completely shifted”. The anarchic side of Rankin appreciates the radical freedom of expression, the instinctive part laments the loss of the artisanal side of creating.
Born in 1966, Rankin grew up between Scotland and Yorkshire. Having finished school, he enrolled at Brighton Polytechnic to study accounting – but the art students he was living with seemed to be having much more fun than he did. To make himself a part of that world, Rankin took a camera and began to shoot. He never stopped since. His girlfriend at that time, Sam, introduced him to fashion. Rankin left the Polytechnic to study photography, first at Barnfield College in Luton, and later at the London College of Printing. The Eighties London, the one of Vivienne Westwood and Paul Smith, of the Sex Pistols and the New Romantics, of Camden Town and Brick Lane – but also of Harrods, Buckingham Palace, Covent Garden and Lady Diana in Dior and Versace (when the crown didn’t make her wear Catherine Walker). At that time Rankin met Jefferson Hack, with whom he created a fanzine: a black and white poster, folded in four, distributed in various night spots. From that poster, in 1991, came the magazine Dazed & Confused. Rankin’s works are exhibited at New York’s MoMA, at the Victoria & Albert, and in his personal studio-gallery – Annroy. His publisher, Dazed Media, besides Dazed & Confused, also published AnOther, AnOther Man and Hunger. Rankin works in collaboration with all the publisher’s magazines, and appears in almost all international fashion publications. In 2000 he launched his own solo publishing project, Rank. It promotes an inclusive idea of beauty, breaking away from mainstream aesthetic canons to explore peculiarities and diversities. Diastemata, freckles, vitiligo, dyschromia, androgyny/effeminacy and facial asymmetry: from an impediment to a value. “I learnt very early on that you’re being hired to work for brands for your opinion. If you don’t have your own view point, then you create really bad work”.
Cultural Partner Piaget
With the gentle support of Champagne Perrier-Jouët
18 ottobre 2019 – 24 febbraio 2020
29 Arts In Progress gallery
Via San Vittore, 13