Magnum Gets an Injection of New Talent From Six Photographers

A record number of Magnum nominees showcased in new exhibition at Milk Gallery

Lorenzo Meloni
SYRIA. Ayn Al Arab. December 2014. A PKK commander gives orders via the radio.© Lorenzo Meloni/Magnum Photos

Magnum Photos is, without a doubt, one of the most prestigious institutions a documentary photographer can hope to one day be associated with. As such, the process for becoming a full-blown member of the photography co-operative is an intensive one: essentially a six-year process that involves creating two distinct bodies of new work that illustrate a sense of authorship and personal vision that the co-operative looks for when bringing new members into the fold.

This year the organization is considering a record number of new Magnum nominees to potentially join their ranks: Matt Black, Carolyn Drake, Sohrab Hura, Lorenzo Meloni, Max Pinckers and Newsha Travakolian. To celebrate the history-making occasion Milk Gallery is currently hosting, Magnum Photos: New Blood, an exhibition that highlights the diverse points of view of each of these photographers.

“New Blood is a fresh injection of different points of view into a very storied and legendary agency,” says Milk Gallery Director Song Chong, who worked at Magnum for six years before coming to Milk. “These six photographers, we think, represent the best of the new photojournalism and of the documentary tradition that Magnum tries to uphold.”

The show features 46 framed photographs with each nominee getting a distinct wall within the gallery. Chong said it was important to design the show in a way that gave visitors a sense that they were moving through time and space, but also one that introduced Milk’s contemporary audience to an iconic institution that they may not have been familiar with.

“We really wanted you to feel like you were getting the depth and breadth of what makes Magnum so powerful,” she says. “It’s these individual voices that have an unwavering personal vision and a point of view about the world. That’s the strength of this group show.”

New Blood: Magnum Photos will be on view at Milk Gallery through May 8. The show will travel to the Magnum Photos Print Room in London on May 25, where it will remain on view through July 29.

Lorenzo Meloni
SYRIA. Kobani / Kobane. August 9, 2015. A painting inside a destroyed building.© Lorenzo Meloni/Magnum Photos
Max Pinckers
Because a Diagonal Always Works. From the series Two Kinds of Memory and Memory Itself, 2015.© Max Pinckers/Magnum Photos
Max Pinckers
A Sudden Gust of Wind (after Wall & Hokusai). From the series Two Kinds of Memory and Memory Itself, 2015.© Max Pinckers/Magnum Photos
Newsha Tavakolian
IRAN. Teheran. Mahud, climbing the wall of the abandoned empty swimming pool, which is the only quiet place he can find to practice his singing. 2014.© Newsha Tavakolian/Magnum Photos
Newsha Tavakolian
IRAN. Teheran. Portrait of Somayyeh. 2014.© Newsha Tavakolian/Magnum Photos
Sohrab Hura
France. 2010. Francoise, the neighbourhood cat.© Sohrab Hura/Magnum Photos
Sohrab Hura
India. 2007. Rainy night in Kodaikanal.© Sohrab Hura/Magnum Photos
Carolyn Drake
Darvaza. Turkmenistan. 2009. Nicknamed "The Door To Hell," Darvaza gas crater has been burning since 1971 when Soviet geologists tried burning off the gas in an underground cavern to prevent poisoning. Gas is in readily available in Turkmenistan and was supplied free of charge across the country until 2014.© Carolyn Drake/Magnum Photos
Matt Black
USA. Corcoran, California. 2014. Burning tires. Corcoran has a population of 24,813 and 28% live below the poverty level.© Matt Black/Magnum Photos
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