Sean O'Hagan (journalist)

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Sean O'Hagan is an Irish writer for The Guardian and The Observer, his specialty being photography.

Early life and education[edit]

O'Hagan was brought up in Armagh during 'The Troubles', and has written about the experience.[1][2][3] As an undergraduate, he studied English in London.[4]


He began his media career as a writer for NME,[5] The Face and Arena, and during this period became interested in photography.[6] As of 2013, he is one of six regular "Art and design" critics for The Guardian website, and the only photography critic among the six.[7]

O'Hagan is a nominator for the Prix Pictet Award in photography and sustainability.[n 1]

The term "new lad" was coined by O'Hagan in a 1993 article about a young, brash and boisterous economist called David "Lad Lad Lad" Sturrock in Arena.[8][9][10]

On 18 March 2003 O'Hagan received the 2002 British Press Award for Interviewer of the Year.[11][n 2] In 2011 O'Hagan was the sole recipient of the J. Dudley Johnston Award[n 3] from the Royal Photographic Society "for major achievement in the field of photographic criticism".[12]

Publications with contributions by O'Hagan[edit]

  • Everything was Moving: Photography from the 60s and 70s. London: Barbican Art Gallery, 2012. ISBN 9780946372393. Edited by Kate Bush and Gerry Badger. O'Hagan contributes the essays "The unreal everyday: William Eggleston's America" and "Against detachment: Bruce Davidson's photographs of America during the Civil Rights Era".


  1. ^ For the Prix Pictet nominators, see Nominators: Prix Pictet,; accessed 21 January 2014.
  2. ^ The award is often described as having been for 2003; as an example, see "British Press Awards: Past winners" Archived 2013-02-18 at the Wayback Machine,, 29 November 2007; accessed 19 January 2014.
  3. ^ For the J Dudley Johnston Award, see J Dudley Johnston Award, Royal Photographic Society website; accessed 19 January 2014.


  1. ^ Sean O'Hagan, "An accidental death", The Observer, 21 April 2002. Accessed 19 January 2014.
  2. ^ O'Hagan, "The day I thought would never come", The Observer, 6 May 2007. Accessed 19 January 2014.
  3. ^ O'Hagan,"All along the watchtowers", The Observer, 13 May 2007; accessed 19 January 2014.
  4. ^ O'Hagan, "'Field Work spoke of a world I knew and had just left behind'",, 1 September 2013; accessed 19 January 2014.
  5. ^ O'Hagan, Sean (22 July 2007). "From Iggy to Gigli: my journey to the Proms". The Observer. London. Retrieved 27 January 2017.
  6. ^ Jesse, "Sean O'Hagan on writing about photography",, 22 May 2013; accessed 18 January 2014.
  7. ^ "Our critics", within Art and design,; accessed 21 January 2013.
  8. ^ Tim Adams (23 January 2005). "New kid on the newsstand". The Observer. Guardian News and Media Limited. Retrieved 20 November 2009.
  9. ^ Michael Bracewell (June–August 1996). "A Boy's Own Story". Frieze. Frieze. Archived from the original on 24 October 2012.
  10. ^ Gill, Rosalind (2003), "Power and the production of subjects: a genealogy of the New Man and the New Lad", in Benwell, Bethan (ed.), Masculinity and men's lifestyle magazines, Oxford, UK Malden, MA, USA: Blackwell Publisher/Sociological Review, pp. 34–56, ISBN 9781405114639 pdf version Gender Institute, London School of Economics.
  11. ^ "Press Awards Winners 2000–2008", Press Awards; accessed 19 January 2014.
  12. ^ 2011 annual awards, Royal Photographic Society; accessed by the Wayback Machine on 14 December 2013.

External links[edit]