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Belgravia / Karen Knorr

Belgravia / Karen Knorr


Karen Knorr / Stanley & Barker / hardcover, 2015

"Born in Germany and raised in Puerto Rico, Karen Knorr moved to England in the 1970s after her parents bought a maisonette in Belgravia, one of London’s wealthiest areas. Knorr’s mother decorated the place in the style of the time, with chintz curtains and Georgian furniture, which alarmed but fascinated Knorr.

While studying for a photography and film degree, she started taking photographs of her family’s social network — mainly affluent Americans who had migrated to London — alongside ironic texts that highlighted the aspirations and lifestyle of Britain’s moneyed elite during the Thatcher years. The first picture above, for example, is captioned: “There is nothing wrong with Privilege, as long as you are ready to pay for it.”

Knorr and her subjects worked together to choose clothes, poses and locations in their homes for the photographs. According to Knorr, now in her sixties, all subjects are anonymous because she wanted to focus not on individuals but on “a group of people and their ideas during a particular time in history”."

Imogen West-Knights, FT