Gallery & Artist Biography
Born in 1961, Chris King’s interest in photography started in the early 1970s using a 110 format Agfamatic camera. Images from his formative years incorporated a range of subject matter – varying from landscapes to reportage portraiture. His dedication to continually pick up the camera provided the technical understanding and discipline required to maintain a long-term practice. The photographer now uses a combination of analogue and digital cameras, and fine art photos from the past several years are taken almost exclusively with a Leica M9.
Following’ Chris’s inaugural gallery exhibition in London, Spring 2011, the photographer has embarked upon a major body of work that captures the South and South-West United States, as seen from the perspective of a foreigner, composed and presented in his identifiable style.
Images of liquor stores that line the borders of dry counties and snow-covered fields in West Texas demonstrate his aptitude for encapsulating the essence of a place. A solitary tree in the car park of Hewlett Packard’s Contact Center in small-town America stands out as a piece of corporate landscaping that would otherwise be unnoticed. A road sign for “Mallet Town” is riddled with bullet holes – presumably from locals practicing shooting, yet the sign remains in place.
A solitary tree in the car park of Hewlett Packard’s Contact Center in small-town America stands out as a piece of corporate landscaping that would otherwise be unnoticed. A road sign for “Mallet Town” is riddled with bullet holes – presumably from locals practicing shooting, yet the sign remains in place.
Of Last Chance 72118, the photographer outlines his intellectual interest, with perhaps a hint of suspicion that these lasting leftovers from 1920s USA may not last forever, “Dry counties are still going strong nearly 80 years after prohibition ended. These are for me, perhaps, the most alien of Southern discoveries. Every town, every village in the UK has at least one pub, many of them hundreds of years old. Living in London, one of the pleasures of visiting a new part of the city is finding a new pub and sampling their beer. A dry county in the UK would be rapidly depopulated…” This type of booze shack, spattered with neon signs, only has a short life remaining, now preserved in King’s Leica M9 photograph.
In a new series that presents a decaying interior, the viewer witnesses a different sort of time capsule. The world has moved on, yet in these photographs, it appears that some in America would prefer time to stay still. Rather than upgrade or renovate, one quietly lets the world of the 1950s remain – a space in transition, for better or worse.
Chris King lives and works in London, and is preparing for a forthcoming exhibition in Normandy, France.
October 2013: Frontline Club Photographic Exhibition, Le Radar Gallery, Prix Bayeux-Calvados, Bayeux, Normandy.
August 2013: Crossing Borders, Susan Mumford art projects + consultancy, Oxford American’s South on Main, Arkansas, USA;
February 2013: Spaces in Transition, Hanmi Gallery, London, Curated by Maria Marro-Perrera;
2012: The Rooftop Collective Edition 2, theprintspace, London, October;
2012: Distilled Memory, Susan Mumford art projects + consultancy, Pop-up Exhibition at the Framers Gallery, London.
2011: “The Everyday“, Rooftop Collective exhibition, The Rooftop Gallery, Soho, London, Curated by Susan Johnson Mumford.
2010: The Frontline Club’s Annual Auction to benefit The Fixer’s Fund, Paddington, London.
2012: Evening Standard, p 4-5, photograph of David Lawley-Wakelin.