Serious Money

Throughout 2021 and 2022, Derek Man collaborated with Caroline Knowles, Professor of Sociology at Goldsmiths, to create a visual response to her book Serious Money: Walking Plutocrat London.

The resulting series of photographs is an invitation to think about the worlds of London’s plutocrats – the super-rich.

The cityscapes show London’s financial district around the Bank of England, capturing it from north, south, east and west. These images are taken from – or near to – social housing estates and show the views of most Londoners of its banking towers: always from a distance. As housing estates are ‘redeveloped’, tenants are frozen in residual housing options, often in poor condition, or shunted to the periphery of the city. Increasing numbers of Londoners are displaced and excluded as the city’s streets become places for the rich.

Man’s ghostly portraits, captured in Mayfair, suggest the invisible cogs in the money-expanding machines of private equity and hedge funds. The images allude to the opaque nature of these operations, which are often hidden behind unmarked doors and buzzers.

Shot through windows from street level and then enlarged to the point of breaking, the spectre-like faces, with barely distinguishable features, suggest the unknowable and inaccessible world that they occupy.

More about the book:

1 of 21
Previous / Next