John Shand Kydd

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

John "Johnnie" Shand Kydd (born in 1959) is an internationally exhibited photographer, the youngest son of Peter Shand Kydd and Janet Munro Kerr, and the stepbrother to Diana, Princess of Wales. Kydd has exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery.

Life and work[edit]

Shand Kydd studied Art (and English) at Exeter University,[1] but said that, by then, he had done enough painting to know that he did not want to pursue it, "There's so much crap art around and what's the point of being a mediocre artist?"[2]

After working at a Bond Street art gallery selling 19th-century paintings for a number of years, Shand Kydd began taking photographs of his artist friends and those in his social sphere, using an Instamatic camera. As a participant rather than solely an observer he captured the community of the Young British Artists before they became household names. Shand Kydd served as the silent chronicler of the movement by capturing his friends, including Tracey Emin and Damien Hirst, on film. That work was soon collected into the book Spit Fire. The collection was featured in the Sensation show at the Royal Academy in 1997. From this portfolio the National Portrait Gallery acquired 42 prints.

His second book, Crash, documented the progress of his friends. About 200 exposures in strict black-and-white capture art-society luminaries like Gilbert & George, Sam Taylor-Wood, Nan Goldin, Richard Prince, Juergen Teller, Maurizio Cattelan and Tracey Emin.

His most recent publication and photographic exhibition, Siren City, is the result of eight years of photographic research in Naples, a place defined by Shand Kidd as one of the most radical cities in Europe.[3]


  • Spit Fire: Photographs from the Art World, Thames & Hudson in association with Violette Editions, London, 1996/97
  • Crash, Damiani, 2006
  • Siren City, Other Criteria, London, 2009


  1. ^ Lynn Barber interview The Observer Sunday 9 May 2004
  2. ^ Barber, Lynn (9 May 2004). "The accidental artist". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 7 May 2011. 
  3. ^ "Johnnie Shand Kydd in Naples: Siren City". The Daily Telegraph. London. 30 June 2010. 

Images available from Artimage

Lynn Barber interview The Observer Sunday 9 May 2004