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Abstract London is a personal project featuring work from the photographer Frank John and is an off shoot from the main photography website frankjohn.com which features only colour work.

This website features abstract style black and white and colour street photography taken in and around London. A bit of a creative kicking a ball around the park sort of thing. A walk on the wilder side in creative terms. An abstract journey revealing London in a completely different light. Turning the mundane and banal into something possibly beautiful to behold. A challenge indeed. Could this be classed as art?

Treading that blurred ground between paintings and photographs, or as it is called the “painterly look” to produce some work that goes beyond the seen, to reveal the unseen that most people don’t notice in their everyday hectic lives. All photos are straight out of camera with basic adjustments. No effects or filters here. People featured also tend to be identifiable in the main, either blurred, profile, silhouette. Most importantly nothing is staged, everything is candid as if I wasn’t even there.

Inspiration has been drawn from the painter Gerhard Richter. Photographers that have inspired to create this work include Fan Ho, Ernst Haas and most profoundly Saul Leiter.

It’s an evolving work which will hopefully lead to a distinct style but undeniably inspired by those masters. Do these pictures have a narrative and tell a story, or do they reveal a message that the photographer is trying to communicate? Or are things left to you to interpret and fill in the missing gaps?

You decide!

FAVOURITE QUOTES:

“I like it when one is not certain what one sees. When we do not know why the photographer has taken a picture and when we do not know why we are looking at it, all of a sudden we discover something that we start seeing. I like this confusion.”

– Saul Leiter

“There are the things that are out in the open, and there are the things that are hidden. The real world has more to do with what is hidden.”

– Saul Leiter

“A window covered with raindrops interests me more than a photograph of a famous person.”

– Saul Leiter

Photography is not about the thing photographed. It is about how that thing looks photographed.

Garry Winogrand

You have a lifetime to learn technique. But I can teach you what is more important than technique, how to see; learn that and all you have to do afterwards is press the shutter. Garry Winogrand

Photography is about finding out what can happen in the frame. When you put four edges around some facts, you change those facts. Garry Winogrand.

“The primary problem is to learn to be your own toughest critic. You have to pay attention to intelligent work, and to work at the same time. You see. I mean, you™ve got to bounce off better work. It’s matter of working.”
Garry Winogrand

“It is an illusion that photos are made with the camera… they are made with the eye, heart and head.” – Henri Cartier-Bresson

“Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.” ― Henri Cartier-Bresson

“A photograph is neither taken or seized by force. It offers itself up. It is the photo that takes you. One must not take photos.” – Henri Cartier-Bresson

 Theory has nothing to do with a work of art. Pictures which are interpretable, and which contain a meaning, are bad pictures. A picture presents itself as the Unmanageable, the Illogical, the Meaningless. It demonstrates the endless multiplicity of aspects; it takes away our certainty, because it deprives a thing of its meaning and its name. It shows us the thing in all the manifold significance and infinite variety that preclude the emergence of any single meaning and view.

Gerhard Richter