Honours for SA photographers

5 October 2007

South Africans David Goldblatt and Barry Lategan were among 22 photographers from around the world who were honoured at the Royal Photographic Society’s prestigious annual awards ceremony in London on Thursday.

Goldblatt and Lategan were awarded honorary fellowships for their “significant individual achievements and contributions to the art and science of photography.”

David Goldblatt

“David Goldblatt’s photographs have documented the prosaic details of South African life for over five decades now,” Sean O’Toole writes in his biography of Goldblatt on art website Artthrob.

“Whether photographing the stolid white suburb of Boksburg, or recording the invisible assault of apartheid by taking an early morning bus ride with the transported of KwaNdebele, his photographs have consistently impressed because of their eloquent humanism.”

Born in Randfontein, a gold mining town near Johannesburg, in 1930, Goldblatt decided he wanted to be a magazine photographer while at high school.

At the time, the field was almost unknown in South Africa, and he went to work in his father’s outfitting store while taking a bachelor of commerce degree at Witwatersrand University. After his father’s death in 1962, he sold the business and devoted his time to photography.

Goldblatt has worked for corporations and institutions in South Africa and overseas, and his work has featured in documentaries and magazines. He has won numerous awards.

In 1989, Goldblatt founded the Market Photography Workshop in Johannesburg, teaching disadvantaged youngsters photographic skills. In 2001, his retrospective, David Goldblatt: 51 Years, toured in New York, Barcelona, Rotterdam, Lisbon, Oxford, Brussels, Munich and Johannesburg.

Barry Lategan

South African born Barry Lategan came to England to study at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, during which time he was called to national service in Germany, where his interest in photography developed.

He opened a studio in London in 1965, where he took the first photographs of Twiggy, before moving to New York to live and work between 1977 and 1990.

Lategan’s photographs have been published worldwide in Vogue, Harpers Bazaar, Elle, Marie Claire and Life.

His subjects have included Iman, Princess Anne, Calvin Klein, Jackie Bisset, Paul and Linda McCartney, David Bailey, Jean Shrimpton, Penelope Tree, Germaine Greer, Paloma Picasso, Lauren Hutton, Salman Rushdie, Margaux Hemingway, Marie Helvin, Bianca Jagger, and Jerry Hall.

His work has been exhibited and retained in the Victoria & Albert Museum, The National Portrait Gallery, Tate Modern, the South African National Gallery and the University of Santa Barbara. He has also received numerous prestigious American and British Awards.

SAinfo reporter

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