The South African–born, London-based photography dealer Michael Hoppen was a successful commercial photographer before he opened his gallery in 1991. “I was perfectly good,” he says, “but it taught me how very hard it is to do photography well.”
Hoppen’s experience as a photographer helps him spot budding talents such as Japan’s Miyako Ishiuchi, whose work he first saw in 2006. Hoppen says he was immediately captivated by her haunting images, and he was undeterred when he learned she had no phone and no fax and spoke no English. He traveled to Japan and cultivated a business relationship with her. In 2007, Hoppen hosted Ishiuchi’s first British gallery show, and last year his gallery hosted another spectacular exhibit of hers. Other influential observers now share Hoppen’s high opinion of Ishiuchi’s work: She received the 2014 Hasselblad Award, an international photography prize whose past winners include Richard Avedon, Henri Cartier-Bresson, William Klein, Édouard Boubat, and Robert Frank. Hoppen’s stock features work from all of those photographers.
Michael Hoppen Gallery, www.michaelhoppengallery.com