Daniele Tamagni at ArtEco

Wandsworth, like its neighbour Battersea, is not what it used to be, and many will say so much the better, though I have a certain regret for the passing of these older working class areas of inner London, their main streets now almost entirely submerged under whole blocks of estate agents. The Old York Road now has a by-pass and a rather different atmosphere, though a few traces of the old Wandsworth linger.

Kristin Hjellegjerde director/curator of ArtEco Gallery with Daniele Tamagni

I’d not before visited the ArtEco Gallery at No. 533 (despite the street numbers this is a very short road, these too being a reminder of the past, when it was just the west end of York Rd) but some Londoners perhaps need reassurance that it is very easy to get too – just a few yards to the right out of Wandsworth Town station, or for those masochists who insist on driving in inner London, almost next to the roundabout at the south end of Wandsworth Bridge (at the top of Trinity Road on the A217.) It’s only just south of the river and taxi drivers will have no problem in taking you there (run 128 starts just a short spit away.) But I took the 44 bus, one of several routes to stop nearby on Swandon Way.

Photographers James Barnor & Daniele Tamagni

And it is worth going there to see the current show ‘Global Style Battles‘ by Daniele Tamagni, who I mentioned in one of my earliest posts on this blog back in 2007, Peckham Rising, for a show at the Sassoon Gallery in a railway arch at Peckham, together with photographer Thabo Jaiyesimi and sound artist  Janine Lai. As you can read, I was impressed by the work Tamagni showed me there, a little of which was on the wall, including a couple of projects in the area.

I met him again at the opening of his ‘Gentlemen of Bacongo‘, north of the river at Michael Hoppen Contemporary in Chlesea in 2010, and wrote the post Sapology about the work, the opening and his fine book  Gentlemen of Bacongo, published by Trolley Books in 2009 and now out of print. There were still a few copies available at the ArtEco Gallery for £50, considerably less than its current price on the secondhand market.

Mention of Trolley Books reminds me of another bargain for those who act quickly on reading this – you have until 2pm EDT on 28 May to become a backer of the commemeorative publication of Trolleyology – The First Ten Year Of Trolley books on Kickstarter, where a pledge of £25 will get you a copy of the book and an invitation to the launch – at a considerable saving on the published price – and for £75 or more you will also get “a poster of the cover from our iconic book ‘Gentlemen of Bacongo’ by Daniele Tamagni. Plus you have the option of having your name printed in the Trolley supporters page at the back of the book.”

The work from ‘Gentlemen of Bacongo‘ is still the backbone of Tamagni’s show at Art Eco, which the gallery describes as ‘a mid-career retrospective … spanning works from 2007 to date.’ I would have liked to see more from his project ‘The Flying Cholitas‘, Bolivian women wrestlers, that won 2nd prize in the Arts and Entertainment section of World Press Photo in 2011, when they were a welcome relief from much of the other work in that show when I viewed it at the South Bank. The work from those two projects will certainly feature when the time comes for him to have a real retrospective show, while I felt a few of the other pictures on the gallery wall here will not last the distance, though they may be more saleable in the present.

James Barnor

I was very pleased to meet and have a long conversation at the opening with a photographer a little over twice as old as Tamagni (b. 1975),  James Barnor, born in Ghana in 1929. I’d seen some of his work before – at http://www.autograph-abp-shop.co.uk/authors/james-barnor Rivington Place, but hadn’t talked with him or remembered his name, though as we talked some things came back to me – and I remembered I had written about his ‘Forever Young‘ show in 2010.  Meeting the man it seemed an entirely appropriate title for him, and it made me feel young too.

The finger points at Charlie Phillips

Also present was another of London’s leading photographers I’ve known for some years, Charlie Phillips, born in Jamaica and perhaps best know for his book Notting Hill In the Sixties (Notting Hill In the Sixties  portfolio here), though his long career produced many other fine images. You can also see some of his work in the Museum of London collection. And there were many other people with whom I had interesting conversations about the work and the relationships between photographers and galleries and the world of art. Here are a few more pictures, taken with the 20 mm Nikon lens on the D800E using auto-ISO (so nice not to have to think, especially after a glass or two.)

It was a very pleasant opening, and I stayed for longer than I intended, not just to look at the pictures, but they are well worth the trip to see and I urge you to do so, and I look forward to being able to see more ‘a mid-career retrospectives’ from Tamagni in the many years I hope he has to come. Italian speakers may like to watch an interview with him on e-photoreview.

The show runs until June 22, open Tue-Sat 11am-6pm.


My London Diary : Buildings of London : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage

All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated are by Peter Marshall and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.

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