A portrait! What could be more simple and more complex, more obvious and more profound.

—Charles Baudelaire

After a smashingly successful inaugural edition, the international fair Photo London is back for more. Beautifully situated at the Somerset House on the Thames river, Photo London will offer the public a vibrant celebration of photography in all its forms. 80 of the world’s finest galleries will be on hand to display and sell beautiful photographs from all periods and genres to collectors.

LensCulture’s editors put together a highly selective preview of some of the work that excites us most — a 55-image slideshow that gives a great overview of what will be on display next week at the fair.

Here, we have put our focus on portraiture. Each of the images above is the result of a profound and at times, seemingly magical transaction between photographer, subject and context. Sometimes this connection forms instantly—ephemeral and almost random. Other times, it develops from mindful, long-term relationship-building. And, of course, there’s the centuries-long mystery of self-portraiture…regardless, the genre offers the viewer a well of feeling, using our endless fascination with the human form as fertile ground for inspired creation.

From Antoine D’Agata’s intimate, sensual (and sometimes disturbing) shoots, to Steve Schapiro’s vintage portraits of David Bowie, through over a dozen cutting-edge emerging artists—we hope this selection inspires your own way of looking at the human form anew.


Editors’ Note: Photo London will run from May 19-May 22, 2016. It will be held at the Somerset House, in the heart of London. We hope to see many of you there! Purchase your tickets now.