Less is More: Celebrating Rankin's career spent challenging the status quo

The endlessly fascinating work of British portrait and fashion photographer Rankin – otherwise known as John Rankin Waddell – is being exhibited together at the Kunsthalle Rostock in Germany.

All images courtesy of Rankin.

All images courtesy of Rankin.

Entitled Less is More, the exclusive show features early imagery from his time as a co-founder of Dazed & Confused all the way through to his more experimental contemporary work, celebrating a career spent challenging the status quo.

While fascinated by the fragility of life, and the inevitable onward march of death, there is all the signature tongue-in-cheek humour and emotive quality that the world has come to expect. For Rankin, Less is More is about coming full circle. It moves away from his photographs of celebrity and casts its gaze back to the work he originally started at Dazed. Here he explored combining conceptual art and fashion photography, forcing them to create a third, more accessible image. It is an approach that flows throughout the unique exhibition.

Rankin has always seen photography as a way to stimulate conversation, something accessible for everybody to understand and love. He rejects pretension with straight up, humour driven concepts that poke fun at fashion and advertising, whilst working within the mediums.

"I really believe in photography that makes you think as well as feel something," Rankin explained. "Less is More is the first time I've brought my more conceptual work together. It does what it says on the tin: showing fewer pieces that have more meaning to me."

The exhibition is a moment of reflection, a carefully curated collection of work that gives you the time and space to absorb the ideas and craft. It's all about human emotion and evoking a gut reaction.

Rankin continued: "We now live in a world populated by billions of wannabe photographers and have come to interact with photography through screens. Society and social media have shifted the medium away from how we explore the world to how we showcase ourselves. We live in an age of ‘brand me’ and smartphones have become the tool to do this... upload, download, overload. I want to put people face-to-face with photography, to stop them in their tracks, to get them thinking about work that is not necessarily entirely serious but is more than just the slip of a finger on a phone.”

Less Is More will run until 28th February 2016. To find out more, visit www.rankin.co.uk or www.kunsthallerostock.de.


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