I'm interested in death and impermanence, how things shine and how they disappear. How love comes and goes. I find film beautiful. How it fades and disintegrates.
My inspiration is cinema, to capture what Werner Herzog describes as 'the ecstatic truth' in everyday events. The fizzing speed and enduring calamity of childhood; the truth without the sentimentality.
I use no digital processes whatsoever. I work with old cameras and salvaged 35mm cine film only; blending traditional film photography with cinematography, the intention being to give these 'still' pictures a vaguely narrative quality that I hope speaks about love, loss and memory. In Portuguese, the word is 'saudade'-- a love steeped in sadness, 'to feel what no longer exists'. By definition, that is what photography does--to stop time, fend off oblivion, allow us to feel what no longer exists-- to remind us of what we have lost or have never had.
Born in India and raised in America, Robin Cracknell moved to London in 1987 after a season in Milan where he had been shooting fashion photography. Once in London, increasingly disillusioned and frustrated with the conventions of fashion work, it was his portfolio of personal work that led to a decade of commissions from publishers and art directors for posters, magazine covers and over 300 book jackets. His technique of combining cinematography with traditional still photography and various mixed media came about from spending many of those years killing time in the ICA projection booth, watching obscure movies and gathering up the random cuttings of discarded film which later became the new 'emulsion' for his work.
After unexpectedly becoming a single father in 1997, Robin refused commissions for eight years to concentrate solely on raising his son. In September 2006, a series of photographs documenting this period was selected for the top 10 of 12,000 artists on Saatchi Art for a show curated by readers of The Guardian as well as noted gallery owners, critics and artists. Robin's work was personally nominated by sculptor Marc Quinn. Shortly thereafter, these photographs and notebooks from that period became his first solo exhibition entitled 'The Camera Suture' at The Whitecross Gallery in London. Since then, his work has been widely published and exhibited including, notably, Eyemazing Magazine and The Michael Hoppen Gallery. A selection of his notebooks are featured in the acclaimed 2014 Thames and Hudson publication, ‘Photographers’ Sketchbooks’.
Robin Cracknell's work is in various private collections internationally as well as The National Portrait Gallery in London and the Fundacion Privada Sorigue, a museum of contemporary art in Lleida, Spain.
2015. 'Lost Love'. SMBH Magazine.
2014. Art Experimenta. TriSpace Gallery. London, UK.
2013. World Wide Wall. Collection curated by Roger Ballen and Saatchi Art.
2013. ENFANCE(S) La(b) Galerie ARTYFACT Paris, FRANCE.
2013. Saatchi Screen. Saatchi Gallery, London, UK.
2013. Art + Healing. Street Gallery, UCL Hospital, London, UK.
2013. ‘Useless, useless’. California Building, Minneapolis, MN USA.
2012. Modern Love. Curated by DayFour Magazine. Theprintspace Gallery. London.
2010. Capture The Fade. Curated by Bill Henson and Ampersand Magazine. Sydney, Australia.
2009. Michael Hoppen Contemporary. 'Starting With a Photograph'. London.
2008. Chain Reaction: BFAMI Auction, Phillips de Pury, London.
2008. Art Au Salon, The Whitecross Gallery, London.
2007. The Whitecross Gallery, London : Solo exhibition, 'The Camera Suture' .
2007. Zoo Art Fair. Two photographs selected and sold by Saatchi Art.
2006. Guardian Press Room, London. Selected for premier exhibit with Saatchi Art and The Guardian.
Selected Publications and Commissions
2014. Eyemazing Susan Annual Pictorial. November 2014.
2014. Musée Magazine. 'Rituals' Issue. November 2014.
2014. The Literate Lens. " ... the notebooks of Robin Cracknell and Saul Leiter are delicate and lovely, works of art in their own right. "
2014. Velvet Dust Magazine. ‘Notes to Self.’ Summer 2014.
2014. Musée Magazine. 'Temptation' Issue. Summer 2014.
2014. Heist Magazine / Photography Collective, London. July.
2014. Shoot Me Magazine. ‘Surfacing’ series. June.
2014. Photographers’ Sketchbooks. S. McLaren and B. Formhals. Thames and Hudson.
2014. Archivo Magazine. ‘The Constructed Image’. Spring Issue.
2014. F-Stop Magazine. ‘The Natural World’. April.
2014. All Hollow Magazine. ‘How Do Particles Adhere?’ Notebooks. Spring 2014, No 7.
2014. ArtPhotoMag. ‘Blue Lake’ series. February.
2013. ‘Spotlight’ Strand Gallery, London. October.
2013. Darwin Magazine, Editor’s Pick. September.
2013. Paragraph Magazine. June. ‘Tenth of December’ by George Saunders.
2013. Feature Shoot. ‘Custody’. Group show: Mother’s Day. May.
2013. Feature Shoot. ‘Blue Lake’. Group show: Beach Vacation. April.
2013. Mutantspace. ‘Robin Cracknell Explores Childhood’.
2012. Paris Review. Kay Ryan’s ‘Bitter Pill’. November
2012. Eyemazing Magazine. Fall Issue.
2012. Faith is Torment. August.
2012. Art Is An Idea. Online feature with interview. April.
2012. DayFour Magazine. Modern Love Issue. Notebooks.
2012. From Magazine / Denmark.
2011. Ampersand Magazine. The Fade. Autumn 2011 issue.
2011. Ralph Lauren for Polo ‘Art Stars’ commission.
2010. Nihilsentimentalgia. Portugal. ‘Notebooks’ feature. November.
2009. Saatchi Art Critics Top 10 as chosen by Kerstin Niemann, curator Van Abbemuseum, Holland. March.
2009. Shuttercrack. To Feel What No Longer Exists. December.
2009. The Telegraph Arts and Culture TV. ‘The Photographic Object’. September.
2009. London Evening Standard, Five star review of Hoppen exhibit. September.
2009. Rojo Magazine. Brazil. August.
2009. ArtInvestor Magazine. Germany. Feature with ‘No’. June.
2009. DAR Magazine. Greece. Feature with Interview. June.
2009. Eyemazing Magazine. Artist’s Issue. 04-2009.
2009. Piana Magazine. Poland. Feature with Interview. January.
2008. AXISWEB: Selected as 'Curator's Choice', November.
2008. Ex-Me Magazine. Japan. Feature. September.
2007. The Guardian Magazine. 27 January. ‘I Was Tormented ...’ Autobiographical piece.
2007. Saatchi Art Critics Top 10 Photographers as chosen by Aaron Schumann, editor SeeSaw Magazine. July.
2007. Cult Frame. Italy. Review of ‘Camera Suture’ solo show. July.
2007. Nylon Magazine. ‘Custody’ and ‘Acid Summer’. June.
2007. Permalink. Italy. Feature and interview. June.
2007. O Globo Newspaper, Brazil. ‘Memory’ featured with interview. February.
2006. The Guardian G2 Arts. ‘Acid Summer’. September.
2006. The Guardian G2 Arts. ‘Custody’. October.
2000. Fax You: The Art of the Fax. Booth-Clibborn Editions. ‘Stutter’.
1997. Shakespeare's Globe Theatre: Artwork exclusively commissioned for the poster and publicity material for relaunch of London's historic Shakespeare's Globe Theatre
1997. FX Magazine : Cover artwork on 'Damage' issue
1995. Design Week distinction. Cracknell's poster for English National Opera
1995. Blueprint Magazine features Cracknell's image for relaunch cover issue
1995. Design International: highlights Cracknell's series of cd covers for BMG Classics
1994. ‘Complete Lyrics by Bernie Taupin and Elton John’. Pavillion Books
1994. Design Week features Cracknell's work in article on Contemporary Photo Illustration.
1992. Creative Review: Cracknell's 'brutal photography' for Carr-Gomm agency.
1988 to present: 300 International Book Covers: Commissioned by every major English publisher and many American and European publishers including titles for Booker Prize nominees Hilary Mantel, Tim Parks, Anne Tyler, Amos Oz, JM Coetzee, Ian McEwan, Michael Moorcock, AL Kennedy, etc.