Out of the ordinary: should we bar the public from this homage to Hoppé?
Crowdsourced ‘artistic’ responses to the street photographer have been hung in the National Portrait Gallery. But why?
guardian.co.uk, Monday 16 May 2011 17.58 BST
Chinese restaurant proprietor by EO Hoppe View larger picture
Ordinary people … detail from EO Hoppé’s proprietor of the Chinese restaurant on Limehouse Causeway, London, circa 1930. Photograph: EO Hoppé/Corbis
EO Hoppé is one of the pioneers of street photography. The National Portrait Gallery’s current exhibition, which ends on 30 May, includes his shots of ordinary people – bus drivers, postmen, circus performers – in London between the wars, as well as his more famous portraits of society figures.
Society, Studio and Street
National Portrait Gallery,
Until 30 May
The NPG, having noted that many of Hoppé’s locations remain familiar today – London Zoo, Hyde Park, the Savoy Hotel – invited the public to respond to Hoppé’s street scenes with images of their own. The crowdsourced result, as might have been expected, is a mixed bag. The 2,500-plus entries can be seen on this Flickr pool. Some have aimed to recreate the mood, and even the era, of Hoppé’s pictures in black and white. Others have used his images as a tangential starting point to capture the vibrancy of today’s city in colour and movement.