The Financial Times points out that photography is having a tough time in London. Auctions are diminishing and a photo fair evaporated several years ago. That doesn’t mean no one wants to try. Chris Beetles is joining the six other London photo dealers:
As a long-time friend of Terry O’Neill, Beetles attempted to revive the fashionable 1960s photographer’s stalled career by mounting a retrospective of O’Neill portraits, including images of Brigitte Bardot and Frank Sinatra. It proved a sell-out and Beetles repeated the experiment with Antony Armstrong-Jones (Lord Snowdon), another neglected face of the 1960s, who had never had a commercial show. Again, it tapped a nostalgic demand for images of a glamorous age. A new specialist gallery seemed the obvious next step.
Beetles persuades collectors to pay substantial sums for well-displayed, well-researched illustrations and cartoons, and has a client list of more than 20,000. “There is an obvious link between works on paper and photography and it should not be too difficult to interest someone spending £3,500 on a cartoon by Rowlandson in a John Swannell nude at around the same price.”
“It is very much a repeat of the situation when I started dealing in illustrations,” says Beetles. “Like photographic prints, they were often piled high and sold cheap. We are promoting photographers as artists, presenting their work in new catalogues, putting the images in well-crafted frames.”
Sharper Focus (Financial Times)