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Brian Griffin : Capitalist Realism at Steven Kasher Gallery


Absurdities can say a great deal. An oversized tie invading London and taking control of the street could seem crazy; however, it is extremely real. What is today’s London if not a center of global finance, a megalopolis at the hands of white-collar workers? More than thirty-five years after Margaret Thatcher’s nomination for Prime Minister, England has forgotten that it was a big industrial country. Laborers were overwhelmed by the 1980s. Other Western countries, the United States and France in mind, had also experienced the shift from a secondary, manufacturing based-economy to a tertiary, service-based economy, often with as much violence. But how to photograph these new elites who wear formal suits as class uniforms and who are surrounded by an environment of offices and white walls? When arriving in London in 1972, Brian Griffin received an assignment from the English magazine Management Today to photograph the working world. For Griffin, failure was hiding everywhere. Even though the artistic director (and the former of Camera, a trilingual photo-magazine) often compared him to Robert Frank, nothing satisfied Brian Griffin. People posed motionless before the camera.

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