Subway secrets

Walker Evans, Subway Portrait, New York City, 1938-41

As I seem to be back on portraiture this seems to be as good a time as any to think about some different approaches to photographing strangers (something that I’ve been following through several series on Richard Guest’s blog The Future is Papier Mâché recently). Anyone who photographs on the streets of London is liable to find themselves questioned about their motives from time to time, usually by security guards but sometimes by the police, making many wonder quite how much freedom of expression we still have in Britain and the degree to which supposed concerns about privacy or security are being used to mask a more insidious creeping state control. So, what’s it like elsewhere and does making art ever trump other issues?

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