Barry W. Hughes

Next up in “Why do you hate photography?”, we bask in the vitriol of UK based Irish, writer, photographer and founder of SMBH Barry W. Hughes. 

Numbskull cheerleaders for overblown egos lie cheek-by-jowl with duplicitous careerists. Misogynist frauds pose as princes. Pointless darlings are bloated by prestige. Vanity, faux-Feminism, neo-Pictorialism and the ensuing dumbed-down imagery, fuelled by an idle Instagram generation hell-bent on popularity have distorted a landscape of promise. Pandering curators and festival directors monopolise in backroom cabals. The gallery system is rotting in a Chelsea basement; it's Hackneyed swan song echoes down university corridors. I too have not been impervious to the gilded arrogance of the pop set; lean lessons learned.

Self-entitled and be happy is the message, photography cannibalising itself for the sake of personality is the outcome. A carefully constructed broadcast life permeates the air. We live in an age of suburban celebrity, of social network tabloidisation; and our artform ought to fight against it, not revel in it. Likes, friends and followers are not a credible virtue of an artist’s worth, merely fallacious commands incentivising subjugation to an advertising algorithm.

Credible challenges to the monster machine are few and far between, while contrary to shitehawk rumblings of one and all being valid, not every star is a sun, and not every status is sincere. 

— Barry W. Hughes