A companion series to Embrace (Rankin Publishing, 2021) works in this new limited run publication, titled An Exploding World, explore the aesthetic of destruction, through apocalyptic imagery reminiscent of nuclear explosions or comets. The creation of which became for the photographer an intimate take on artistic expression, frustration during lockdown isolation, and a celebration of the expressive creativity that emerged.
Designed by long-time Rankin collaborators, SEA, this title is an intensely personal project for Rankin; one immeasurably entangled with his own mental health. During 2020 Rankin found himself, for the first time in his 30 year career, closed off from his studio and collaborators. Forced to find a way to create works without face-to-face interaction, the portrait photographer turned to nature.
“For years now I’ve been obsessed with the perfection of a dandelion seed head. Seen as weeds, they grow absolutely everywhere, especially in the city. And during a time of great stress, there was comfort in them.”
Taking dandelions (symbols of courage, growth, hope and healing) and setting them alight, Rankin found his own visual metaphor how he was feeling and for the state wider world around him. However, these works are not just about destruction:
“When fire burns through the forest, the old growth burns away to allow space for the new forest to emerge. Through burning these dandelions I was clearing space mentally. Finding a new outlet for my creativity."
Alongside new and exclusive imagery is a personal introduction from Rankin and an interview with the artist discussing the inspiration behind the works and his process.
A photographer who is often synonymous with celebrity portraiture and high profile beauty campaigns, An Exploding World explores the other side of Rankin’s artistic output.
Published - 2022
Pages - 68
Book Type - Hardback
ISBN - 9780995574182
Publisher - Rankin Publishing Ltd.
As a photographer Rankin's portfolio ranges from portraiture to documentary. He has shot The Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Kate Moss, Kendall Jenner and The Queen to name only a few.
He is best known for work that is on the cultural cusp and leading future trends: producing rule-breaking campaigns for brands such as Rolls Royce, Unilever, L’Oreal and Samsonite; creating wide reaching projects for charities including Women’s Aid and Macmillan; and shooting music videos for the likes of Miley Cyrus, Rita Ora and Kelis.
As a publisher, Rankin co-founded the seminal magazine Dazed & Confused with Jefferson Hack in 1991, and has since published the likes of AnOther and AnOther Man, alongside over 40 books and the biannual fashion and culture print and digital platform, Hunger.
His photography has been published everywhere from his own publications to Elle, Vogue, Esquire, GQ, Rolling Stone, and Wonderland, and exhibited in galleries globally, including MoMA, New York, and the Victoria & Albert Museum, London.
Rankin lives in London with his wife Tuuli and their dogs.
Designed by SEA
For over 20 years SEA has been designing and developing identities for some of the world’s most influential brands. They harness creativity and intelligent design to solve complex issues across a broad range of sectors, communicating powerful ideas in a clear & effective way.
Their work has been recognised by all major international awards including the Design Museum’s highly prestigious Designs of the Year. Whilst they regularly win industry awards for their creativity, real success for SEA is helping clients thrive in an increasingly competitive world.