Titled Wonderful People, Michael Hoppen Gallery’s new exhibition of photographs by Tim Walker reveals some of the remarkable portraits the image-maker has taken of famous faces throughout his career
A month after the opening of Wonderful Things at the V&A, Wonderful People, an exhibition of portraits by Tim Walker, opens at Michael Hoppen Gallery this week. Focusing on the extraordinary subjects Walker has lensed over his 25-year career – people like Tilda Swinton, Claire Foy, Margaret Atwood, Timothée Chalamet, Rooney Mara and Marion Cotillard – Wonderful People is an extensive look at Walker’s arresting portraiture.
Wonderful People is Walker’s first private gallery exhibition. As the show’s title suggests, the transporting photographs on display are full of wonder: from awe-inspiring set design and playful props to surreal elements and striking clothing. “A lot of photography, for me, is about a world in my head that becomes articulated as an environment which I can walk into,” Walker says in the Autumn/Winter 2019 issue of AnOther Magazine. “As a photographer, you’re merely documenting your imagination.”
Walker applies this same fantastical, playful process to his portraiture: his famous subjects often seem to inhabit different characters before his lens (see Claire Foy’s regal portrait, taken in 2017 as she played Queen Elizabeth II in The Crown). In contrast to the V&A exhibition – which is made up of new work by Walker, created specifically for the show and inspired by objects from the museum’s collections – Wonderful People delves through Walker’s archive of striking portraiture, revealing another side of his remarkable oeuvre.
Tim Walker: Wonderful People is at Michael Hoppen Gallery, London, from October 25, 2019 – January 25, 2020.