Taking Shots: The Photography of William S. Burroughs

Art, Photography
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Taking Shots: The Photography of William S. Burroughs
© Estate of William S. Burroughs Unknown Photographer, Burroughs in the Villa Mouniria Garden, Tangier

It shouldn’t be at all surprising that the American writer, William S Burroughs’ creative imagination extended beyond the page. His little known photographs collated here for the first time show he was as prolific with a camera as a pen at capturing the obscurities of life.


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American writer and artist William S Burroughs was a prolific photographer. The curators are diplomatic in saying his images ‘defy canonical structure’ - they’re just completely random. In a way, his approach to taking photos was very much ahead of it’s time - he shot continuously with little regard for cataloguing, using or displaying the images ever again. Most of the images on display here are in the original 6x4 format, or even smaller. The viewer needs to get up close to make out the subject, only to be disappointed to realise it’s incredibly tedious. One can’t help but feel Burroughs’ work has been exhibited because of his fame, rather than his ability to take a good photograph. For more of the latest art reviews, check out www.curatedlondon.co.uk