Gwen Shabka

Originally from the New York area and a resident of West London since 1996, moving to Brentford in 2016 altered my approach to photography. The worn and weathered textures of industrial architecture and the surrounding waterways worked their way into my imagery, leading to a new abstract series, ‘Light Graffiti,’ and a new approach to portrait commissions in which my 20+ years in photographic portraiture combines with textures and patterns to create bespoke, one-off pieces.

My earliest influences in photography were the great photographers of Roosevelt’s Farm Security Administration, such as Walker Evans and Dorothea Lange, who never sugar-coated what they saw but were nonetheless able to draw out the beauty of humanity. In my street photography and documentary portraiture, this is my benchmark.

Another early influence was my exposure to art growing up in the New York area. I became enamoured with the NY artists of 1950s, such as Robert Rauschenberg, who used common household paint and discarded items he found in the street. These artists allowed me to see that everything around me, no matter the circumstances or condition, had inherent artistic value.

For more information about fine art portrait commissions and available prints from the series, Light Graffiti, please see my website!

Thank you!

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