In equal measure elegant and provocative, dynamic and cool, creative and trend-setting: the renowned British photographer’s work is multifaceted, and he has long been considered one of the most sought-after and influential photographers of our time. The exhibition Rankin – Zeitsprünge will be presented from May 26 to September 27, 2023, at the Ernst Leitz Museum Wetzlar, and will offer fascinating and unexpected insight into Rankin’s exceptional oeuvre. Some of his best pictures, taken over the past three decades, will be on display. The exhibition will include many iconic portraits and celebrity shots that have made it into the annals of photographic history: colourful beauty images and classic fashion spreads, as well as examples of his profoundly conceptual series. Titled Zeitsprünge (Leaps in time), motifs from the 1990s to the 2000s enter into a dialogue with brand new and never-before-published pictures from 2023.
Many of the most famous personalities from politics and show business have stood in front of Rankin’s camera: Queen Elizabeth II, Vivienne Westwood, Ewan McGregor, Björk, Heidi Klum, David Bowie – the list goes on and on. In addition, the photographer’s passion for magazines has clearly proven that he is so much more than a fashion and lifestyle photographer. At the beginning of the nineties, Rankin and Jefferson Hack established Dazed & Confused, a provocative – for the times – zeitgeist magazine, which brought together a mixture of different genres, such as fashion, graphics, design and photography. His editorial spreads for numerous international magazines ensured that he was very busy as a photographer and a designer. Furthermore, he has been comfortably at home in the film industry for years now. In addition to long TV films, he has produced countless music videos, covering a list of artists that resembles a Who’s Who of the music scene.
Without a doubt, Rankin the photographer, film maker, publicist and designer has delighted and inspired whole generations. To this day, he restlessly continues to explore new creative possibilities for his photography – gladly, often with Leica cameras. The Zeitsprünge exhibition is an invitation to dive more deeply into the incomparable world of Rankin.
Rankin was born John Rankin Waddell in Scotland, on April 28, 1966. Despite early artistic inclinations, he first studied Business Administration. Following a BTech course at Barnfield College in Luton, followed by a BA course at the London College of Printing, he finally made his way into photography. In 1991, together with Jefferson Hack, he founded the magazine Dazed & Confused; and the Dazed Film & TV Agency in 1999. In December of 2000, he published his own fashion magazine, titled Rank, for the first time. This was followed by the magazine Hunger, which has been published since 2011. Rankin has been responsible for numerous advertising campaigns for well-known brands, and has also volunteered for a variety of projects. German television viewers first got to know the photographer in 2009, with his appearances on Germany’s Next Top Model; since the 2020 season, he also appears, occasionally, as a guest judge. Rankin has published numerous photo books and his work has been exhibited worldwide. He lives in London with his wife, the Finnish model Tuuli Shipster.
The exhibition is realised in cooperation with our partner WhiteWall.