The death of authenticity?

 In Company News, Getty Images Gallery

Paradoxical desires and contradictory tastes: Getty Images’ new exhibition explores the modern world’s desire for everything.

Creative in Focus at Getty Images Gallery, London 24 February through to 26 March 2016.

Monday 22 February 2016, London: Getty Images Gallery’s latest exhibition, Creative in Focus, explores the Jekyll and Hyde nature of modern tastes and behaviour; erratic, rebellious and driven by advancements, but also seeking peace, social good and a divine sense of living. What was once a world seeking authenticity, has now become one craving visuals that go beyond the norm, expanding the way we interpret the world. This thought-provoking exhibition from Getty Images highlights these contradictions with a series of over 70 original and challenging images.


The last 10 years have been dominated by a particular visual representation of ‘authenticity’- the trend for realistic lifestyle and its most recent manifestation in ‘smartphone realism;’ however there is an increasing appetite for something in addition – the aspirational, the surreal and the imaginative.


The Getty Images Creative Research team continues to monitor these cultural shifts, indicated by the way people are searching and exploring images online. Getty Images is seeing the desire for escapism, perfectionism and glamour trending in search and download activity. In the past year alone, there has been a 248 per cent increase in searches for ‘surreal landscape’ and a 360 per cent increase image searches for ‘virtual reality.’


The exhibition highlights these often contrasting trends; the Messthetics trend is a rebellion against the order of everyday life, whilst Silence vs. Noise focuses on making space for consumers to breathe among the clutter of modern living. Getty Images has seen a 2,000 per cent increase in searches for simplicity, but at the same time witnessed a 1,500 per cent rise in searches for the visceral and gritty, demonstrating consumer trends at entirely opposite ends of the spectrum.


Andrew Saunders, Senior Vice President, Creative Content at Getty Images, says: “This year our visual trend predictions focus on the contrasts faced by the modern consumer; the yearning for extremes, a desire to be on the outside of the mainstream, but also seeking community and engagement for wider social good. The exhibition highlights the exciting and original ways our photographers have tackled the visualisation of these trends.”


The Creative in Focus exhibition takes place from 24 February -26 March 2016 at the Getty Images Gallery. To view a selection of the imagery that will be on display, click here.




Notes to editors

Getty Images 2016 Creative in Focus trends include:

  • Outsider In
  • Divine Living
  • Extended Human
  • Messthetics
  • Silence vs. Noise
  • Surreality

Creative in Focus exhibition runs from 24th February – 26th March 2016 and admission is free. Getty Images Gallery is situated in central London, just a stone’s throw away from Oxford Circus. Opening hours are from 10.00am to 5.30pm, Monday to Friday, 12.00 to 5.30pm Saturday.

Getty Images Gallery

46 Eastcastle Street



Nearest underground: Oxford Circus


About Getty Images Gallery

Getty Images Gallery is London’s largest independent photographic gallery and was founded in 1996. Located on Eastcastle Street, just a stone’s throw from Oxford Circus, Getty Images Gallery showcases stunning exhibitions on a regular basis. The majority of the imagery on display in the Gallery is taken from Getty Images’ archival and contemporary libraries and is available to buy as fine art prints in a variety of sizes and framing options.

About Getty Images:

Getty Images is the most trusted and esteemed source of visual content in the world, with almost 200 million assets available through its industry-leading sites and The Getty Images website serves creative, business and media customers in almost 200 countries and is the first place people turn to discover, purchase and share powerful content from the world’s best photographers and videographers. Getty Images works with over 200,000 contributors and hundreds of image partners to provide comprehensive coverage of more than 130,000 news, sport and entertainment events, impactful creative imagery to communicate any commercial concept and the world’s deepest digital archive of historic photography.

Visit Getty Images at to learn more about how the company is advancing the unique role of still and moving imagery in communication and business, and enabling creative ideas to come to life.  For company news and announcements, visit our Press Room, and for the stories and inspiration behind our content, visit Stories & Trends. Find Getty Images on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Tumblr, or download the Getty Images app where you can explore, save and share the world’s best imagery.



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