David Campany

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David Campany (born 8 October 1967) is a British writer, curator, artist and teacher, working mainly with photography.[1]

Campany has written and edited books; contributed essays and reviews to other books, journals, magazines and websites; curated photography exhibitions; given public lectures, talks and conference papers; had exhibitions of his own work; been a jury member for photography awards;[2] and teaches photographic theory and practice at the University of Westminster,[3] London.

Campany's books have won the Kraszna-Krausz Foundation Book Award,[4] Infinity Award from the International Center of Photography,[5] Silver Award from Deutscher Fotobuchpreis[6] and the J Dudley Johnston Award from the Royal Photographic Society.[7]

Campany is co-founder and co-editor of PA magazine which has been published since 2008.

Life and work[edit]

Campany grew up in Essex.[8][9] He gained a degree in film, video and photographic arts from the Polytechnic of Central London and an MA in photographic studies from the same school, by then renamed University of Westminster.

In the 1990s he taught histories of art and graphic design at Winchester School of Art.[9] From 2000 to 2004 he taught photographic theory and practice at Surrey Institute of Art and Design. He became a reader in photography at the University of Westminster in 2004.[9]

He lives in north London with his wife, Polly Braden, and two daughters.[9]

Campany's book Gasoline (2013) received attention upon its publication[10][11][12][13] and was positively reviewed by critics. It consists of photographs of prints of petrol stations from 1945 to 1995 rescued from archives of several American newspapers that have been discarding their analogue print collections in favour of digital storage, and edited into a visual meta-narrative. Most of the photographs have been marked by the grease pencil of a newspaper's art director, outlining the crop required to illustrate a particular story, or stories, in the newspaper. They are often heavily retouched by hand, painting selectively over the image with white-out and pen. The second half of the book consists of pictures of the reverse of the prints, showing caption information, the name of the photographer and copyright holder, dates of publication, the newspaper, and sometimes clippings from the image's use in the paper, an archive of its own use which is lost in a digital archive. As well as being "elevated to icon in the visual language of 'America'",[1] gas stations "are quite banal but when they make news it's because there's been a crime, an accident, a price rise or a geopolitical crisis" which "makes the gas station a revealing measure of a society over the second half of the 20th century".[11] The book describes "America's relationship with the car, with travel, with consumption, with the rest of the world" and can also be read as "an allegory about news photography. Or a minor history of car design, or vernacular architecture, or street graphics, or outfits worn by pump attendants. All of the above."[1][14][15]

Walker Evans: the Magazine Work (2014), edited and with "an exhaustive essay"[16] by Campany, explores the period of Evans's photographic career at Fortune and other magazines, a period that has gone largely unnoticed, with Evans[17] "lauded for every part of his creative career except for his magazine work."[16] Krystal Grow, writing in Time, praised Campany's book as "Exhaustively researched and meticulously edited".

In The Open Road: Photography & the American Road Trip (2014)[18] Campany introduces the road trip as a photographic genre, the first book to do so.[8] It includes writing by Campany and photographs by Robert Frank (from The Americans), Ed Ruscha, Inge Morath (from The Road to Reno), Garry Winogrand, William Eggleston, Lee Friedlander, Joel Meyerowitz, Jacob Holdt (from American Pictures), Stephen Shore, Bernard Plossu, Victor Burgin (from US 77), Joel Sternfeld, Shin'ya Fujiwara, Alec Soth (from Sleeping by the Mississippi), Todd Hido, Ryan McGinley, Justine Kurland, and Taiyo Onorato and Nico Krebs (from The Great Unreal).[19][20]

Campany co-founded and co-edits PA magazine with Cristina Bechtler. In each issue an artist is invited to select and sequence their own work and select a second artist who does the same, possibly with a dialogue about their practice.


Publications by Campany[edit]

Publications with contributions by Campany[edit]

PA magazine[edit]


  • 2009: And/or Book Awards / Kraszna-Krausz Foundation Book Awards, Moving Image category, for Photography and Cinema (2008).[4][22][23]
  • 2012: Infinity Award, writing category, from the International Center of Photography,[5][5] for Jeff Wall: Picture for Women (2011).
  • 2015: Silver Award, Deutscher Fotobuchpreis, for Walker Evans: the Magazine Work (2014).[6]
  • 2015: J Dudley Johnston Award, Royal Photographic Society.[7]


Exhibitions curated by Campany[edit]

Exhibitions by Campany as artist[edit]

Solo exhibitions[edit]

  • 1996: Documents of the Impossible. Focal Point Gallery, Southend, Essex. June–August 1996.[citation needed]

Exhibitions with others[edit]

  • 2009: Broken Pieces of China, made in collaboration with Polly Braden, London Gallery West, University of Westminster, 6 February – 1 March 2009.[40]
  • 2011: Lee Cluderay, made in collaboration with Polly Braden, Szara Kamienica Gallery, 14 May – 12 June 2011, as part of Kracow Photomonth, curated by Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin.[41]
  • 2011: Adventures in the Valley, made in collaboration with Polly Braden, Minnie Weisz Studio, 1–17 July 2011, as part of London Street Photography Festival.[42][43]

Group exhibitions[edit]

  • 2005: Adventures in the Valley, made in collaboration with Polly Braden, Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, August 2005,[44] as part of Real Estate, curated by B+B.[45] Digital slideshow and photographic prints.
  • 2010: Nothing is in the Place, 1–30 May 2010, Gallery of Contemporary Art Bunkier Sztuki, curated by Jason Evans as part of Kracow Photomonth.[46]

Television appearances[edit]


  1. ^ A copy of Campany's essay is available here within the Hackelbury website


  1. ^ a b c Williams, Holly (14 September 2013). "Pump action: Why images of gas stations capture all things American". The Independent. Retrieved 14 March 2015.
  2. ^ David Campany. "Chronology". Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  3. ^ "Dr David Campany: Reader in Photography". University of Westminster. Retrieved 11 March 2015.
  4. ^ a b "Past Moving Image Winners". Kraszna-Krausz Foundation. Retrieved 11 March 2015.
  5. ^ a b c "Infinity Awards 2012". International Center of Photography. Retrieved 11 March 2015.
  6. ^ a b "Die Sieger 2015". Deutscher Fotobuchpreis. Retrieved 11 March 2015.
  7. ^ a b "RPS Awards 2014". Royal Photographic Society. 10 September 2014. Retrieved 11 March 2015.
  8. ^ a b "David Campany: the Open Road". Leica Camera. 21 October 2014. Retrieved 15 March 2015.
  9. ^ a b c d "Formidable Family Braden-Campany". Pirouette. Retrieved 14 March 2015.
  10. ^ Horne, Rebecca (6 December 2013). "50 Years of Gas Station Photos Pump Out Premium Americana". Wired. Retrieved 15 March 2015.
  11. ^ a b Ladd, Jeffrey (21 October 2013). "Fueling the American Dream". Time. Retrieved 15 March 2015.
  12. ^ "Black gold fever: New collection of prints sheds light on Americans' love-hate relationship with gasoline over the course 50 years". Mail Online. 8 December 2013. Retrieved 14 March 2015.
  13. ^ "'Gasoline': The end of oil's innocence". CNN Photos. CNN. Retrieved 31 July 2018.
  14. ^ O'Hagan, Sean (26 September 2013). "Pit stop photography: take a road trip to America's vintage gas stations". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 March 2015.
  15. ^ Coomes, Phil (21 October 2013). "Fill up on gas station memories". BBC News. Retrieved 14 March 2015.
  16. ^ a b O'Hagan, Sean (16 May 2014). "Life, Time and Fortune: how Walker Evans mastered magazine photography". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 March 2015.
  17. ^ Grow, Krystal. "Walker Evans: A Rebel Rises at Fortune". Time. Retrieved 15 March 2015.
  18. ^ Little, Myles (24 September 2014). "Go on an American Road Trip with the World's Greatest Photographers". Time. Retrieved 15 March 2015.
  19. ^ Leland, John (15 September 2014). "A Car, a Camera and the Open Road". The New York Times. Retrieved 15 March 2015.
  20. ^ O'Hagan, Sean (30 November 2014). "The Open Road: Photography and the American Road Trip review – a survey of photographers' journeys". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 March 2015.
  21. ^ David Campany. "Art and Photography: Phaidon, 2003". Retrieved 16 March 2015.
  22. ^ "The And/Or Book Awards 2009". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  23. ^ "The And/Or Book Awards 2009". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  24. ^ "Hannah Collins. Historia en curso". Fundación La Caixa. 19 November 2009. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  25. ^ "Exposición". Artium Museum. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  26. ^ "Anonymes: L'Amérique sans nom : photographie et cinéma". Le Bal. Archived from the original on 20 March 2015. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  27. ^ "Jerwood Encounters: This Must Be the Place". Jerwood Visual Arts. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  28. ^ "Mark Neville – Deeds Not Words". The Photographers' Gallery. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  29. ^ "Victor Burgin: On Paper". Richard Saltoun. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  30. ^ "Victor Burgin: On Paper" (PDF). Richard Saltoun. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  31. ^ "P3 Exhibitions / Past / 2013". Ambika P3. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  32. ^ "Lewis Baltz: Common Objects". Le Bal. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  33. ^ "Krakow Photomonth Festival: Walker Evans: The Magazine Work". Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  34. ^ "Walker Evans – Magazinewerk". Pf. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  35. ^ "Walker Evans, the magazine work". Pôle Image Haute-Normandie. 1 February 2015. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  36. ^ "A Handful of Dust - From the Cosmic to the Domestic". Le Bal. Retrieved 23 October 2015.
  37. ^ "A Handful of Dust: Photography after Man Ray and Marcel Duchamp". Whitechapel Gallery. Retrieved 17 October 2017.
  38. ^ O'Hagan, Sean (8 June 2017). "Slain dictators and cities under attack: the photographers telling stories through dust". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 17 October 2017.
  39. ^ "The Open Road: Photography and the American Road Trip: Curated by David Campany and Denise Wolff". Aperture Foundation. Retrieved 11 March 2016.
  40. ^ "Previous exhibitions at London Gallery West" (PDF). University of Westminster. Retrieved 11 March 2015.
  41. ^ "Photomonth in Krakow – 2011: Lee Cluderay". Kracow Photomonth. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  42. ^ "London Street Photography Festival Launches Celebrating the Time-Honoured Genre". ArtDaily. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  43. ^ "In Pictures: London Street Photography Festival". BBC News. 2 July 2011. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  44. ^ Davies, Lucy (13 July 2009). "Photograph of the Day". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  45. ^ "Real Estate Projects". B+B. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  46. ^ "Photomonth in Krakow – 2010: Nothing is in the Place – Curatorial Project by Jason Evans". Kracow Photomonth. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  47. ^ "Imagine: Season 20, Episode 5: The Many Lives of William Klein". IMDB. Retrieved 13 March 2015.

External links[edit]