SP in focus

We kick off a new series of photo essays with a set of images and observations by a young American photographer, dividing her time between SP and NYC

A two week visit, in 2011, was enough to convince the New York photographer Alexandra Henry that this was a city that could inspire her. She followed it up shortly after with a six-month stay, followed by numerous subsequent visits. ‘It’s taken me just under two years to start understanding this impressive megapolis,’ says Henry.

Referencing photographers like Andreas Gursky, Michael Wolf and Candida Höffer, Henry's work focuses on urban landscapes, often from an elevated height. It benefits from a frank, cool gaze that shows the city in its sometimes ugly beauty: all straight lines and few curves, and islands of colour amidst geometric swathes of grey.

There’s a pluckiness and a scrappiness about SP as seen through her eyes; and in the constant clash between the human and the urban scale she portrays, the unmistakeable suggestion of hard lives eked out in what can be, especially for some, a hostile environment.

By Claire Rigby


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