San Francisco, CA—The World Photography Organization (WPO) and the founders of Photo London announced a new partnership. The agreement brings together two global photography organizations dedicated to the development as well as cultural enrichment of the medium.
The move follows the WPO’s (World Photography Awards Limited) acquisition of 25% in Photo London. Moreover, the photo fair returns to Somerset House May 12–15, 2022 for its seventh edition. It will present a roster of noted international galleries as well as photography dealers. In addition, the fair will offer a public program of exhibitions and talks.
The WPO is a leading global platform that advances the photographic culture. Its programming and competition initiatives provide opportunities for artists working in photography. The also broaden the conversation around their work.
Through its fairs, the WPO plays a key role in driving the growth of the contemporary photo-based art market. Moreover, it deepens audience engagement. The organization’s portfolio includes the Sony World Photography Awards, one of the world’s biggest photography competitions; PhotoFairs Shanghai, an Asia-Pacific fair dedicated to photo-based and digital artworks; and Photo London.
“We are thrilled to announce our partnership with Photo London,” commented Scott Gray, founder and CEO, World Photography Organization. “After many years of working alongside each other as respected industry peers, we look forward to cooperating with Photo London in this new framework to develop existing and future opportunities. This collaboration will further the reach of the fair through our network in Asia; whilst also widening the scope for Asian artists and galleries to showcase in Europe.”
Photo London Partnership
The cultural consultancy Candlestar, who remains a majority shareholder, organizers Photo London. Candlestar specializes in the development of art as well as education projects. Its photographic projects also include producing Prix Pictet on behalf of the Pictet Group. This award for photography and sustainability is now in its ninth cycle.
The new partnership with Photo London will further develop the contemporary photography art market by drawing on the organizations’ shared resources. What’s more, it will provide galleries, artists and collectors with an enhanced range of opportunities for engagement and discovery.
Central to this is the fostering of a creative dialogue and cross-cultural collaborations between PhotoFairs Shanghai and Photo London. Through a joint program of curated content and presentations, the two platforms will focus on new fine art and digital practices in photography. They will also highlight the work of emerging talents across both regions.
Behind the Partnership
Photo London founders Michael Benson and Fariba Farshad explained the thinking behind the move: “Photo London is widely regarded as a key global cultural event and fixture in London’s creative calendar. Yet, the years since its launch in 2015 were eventful to say the least. That the fair has not only weathered the twin storms of Brexit and the global pandemic but has flourished during this period is extraordinary.
“It has done so through innovative programming and the support of its artists and exhibitors as well as partners such as the FT and Nikon. Today, the fair is widely admired and respected for its determination to support emerging artists and to champion the cause of women in photography.
‘We are humbled by the wide-spread support we have received from the photography community over the last two incredibly difficult years,” they added. “During this time, it became clear to us that we had a responsibility to the diverse range constituencies that support the fair to devise a plan to strengthen what is an important and much-loved cultural asset.
“There were many routes that we might have taken to achieve that; however, this partnership with our long-term collaborators, the World Photography Organization, feels like exactly the right fit. . . . Together we are the world’s largest organization dedicated to photography. We now have a great platform from which to build in many new and exciting ways.”