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Wednesday, 5 April 2017

John Myers. Pictures from the Unbeautiful World

John Myers is a somewhat ignored English photograph whose work in the Midlands in particular is, in its quiet way, epoch defining and reflective both of the New Topographics and of the working practices of the  British Colour Photographers that would come in the late Seventies and early eighties.

Photographs of Middle England shows his portraits of British people in their interiors, he shows series on televisions (and series on televisions are great!) and he shows pictures of the boring side of 1970s suburban England via his hometown in the Midlands, Stourbridge ( and 1970s suburban England could be mighty boring).

He had a show at the IKON Gallery in 2012 which led to a spurt of interest and now his work is being shown again (catch it until 29th April at the Gageway Gallery in Luton) which you can buy in this Cornerhouse publication. It's called ...the world is not beautiful. Fabulous!

Buy ...the world is not beautiful here. 

Read Francis Hodgson on why the work of John Myers is almost forgotten. This is an article by Simon Denison for Source Magazine. And this is from an article by Stacy Baker on Myers in the New York Times.

'For Myers, the real world was Stourbridge, the “normal small English town” that has been his home for nearly 40 years, and where most of his pictures were taken. His subjects, shot using a 4X5 Gandolfi camera, were people he knew and their children, as well as the houses and roads around town. “There’s nothing particularly remarkable about where I actually ended up working and living and eventually marrying and settling down,” he said. “This is the world that the great majority of people live in.”

Myers stopped photographing in 1988 when the Stourbridge College of Art faced closure, and a lot of his time was spent “trying to save my job.” Stourbridge survived by merging with the University of Wolverhampton, but Myers never returned to photography. He says he doesn’t miss it. “I don’t believe in going back,” he said. “For me, the stuff in the mid-’70s, if it has got any kind of quality, it’s the excitement of discovery. It’s the excitement of coming across influences. I don’t think you can go back.”'

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