About us

Candlestar is an internationally renowned visual arts consultancy formed in 2003 by globally respected authorities on photography and arts production Michael Benson and Fariba Farshad. Over the last twenty years Candlestar has consulted on and delivered a range of innovative projects for clients such as Frieze, Conde Nast, Belmond, Art Dubai and the Sovereign Art Foundation. They are currently the producers of the world-class photography fair Photo London, founded in 2015, Photo London has become a catalyst for the capital’s dynamic photography community. They are also the producers of Prix Pictet which they established in 2008 with Pictet Group and is the world’s leading award for photography and sustainability.

Please get in touch to discuss how we can tailor our services to meet your budget and needs.



Candlestar’s Services



Project Conceptualisation

Feasibility Assessment

Venue Acquisition

Venue Liaison

Event Management Plan

Production Schedule

Production Budget

Contractor Procurement & Management


Content Curation

Artwork Commissioning

Exhibition Layout

Exhibition Build

Lighting Design

Event Layout

Promotional Material

Exhibition Graphics & Wayfinding


Artwork Fabrication

Project Management & Onsite Staffing

Space Build

Specialist Fine Art Shipping

Specialist Art Handlers & Installers

Audio Visual Production & Installation

Fine Art Insurance

Lighting Installation

Security & Front of House Staffing

Health & Safety Management

Sustainability Monitoring

Local Authority Liaison

Logistics & Traffic Management

Project Documentation


Fariba Farshad

Fariba Farshad worked at University of the Arts, London as an educator pioneering the application of technology in art education for over a decade. She spearhead the award-winning research centre responsible for the production of more than 50 game based learning applications. Her innovative projects won her numerous accolades, including a BAFTA nomination.

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As a curator, Fariba is renowned for championing the work of contemporary Iranian artists. Her ground-breaking exhibition Burnt Generation which showcased the contemporary life in Iran through the lens of eight major contemporary Iranian photographers, opened at Somerset House in 2014 and toured globally for 5 years.

Michael Benson

Michael Benson is co-founder of Candlestar a company that has over the last twenty years developed a portfolio of world class cultural projects including the Condé Nast College of Fashion and the Prix Pictet. In 2015 Candlestar inaugurated Photo London and in 2023 launched a photo fair in in New York in collaboration with the Montgomery Group. Michael Benson has also published widely. He has written numerous articles for leading magazines including Vogue and has written and edited over 20 books. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts (RSA) and from 2023 a member of the Advisory Board of the Marta Ortega Perez ( MOP) Foundation. In 2024 he became curator of the Foundation’s exhibition programme.

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