Beautiful Ugly John Gollings

John Gollings photograph

Beautiful Ugly is a major new book on the architectural photography of John Gollings. It covers the span of his work from the exuberant images of the 1980s (see above) to the more functional but still excellent ones of recent years. He is the best professional photographer we have, a very successful commercial operator who is also an artist with a distinctive style. His sunset backgrounds and exaggerated perspectives invest the buildings he photographs with a marvelous sense of drama which ‘sell’ the buildings as dynamic public sculptures.

I love his earlier work which often had an almost narrative quality. In my favourite, ghostly draught horses rear up in front of a Glen Murcutt farmhouse. Shot at night with a series of flash exposures that rival the great Winston Link, it embeds the Murcutt in a historical narrative of Australian rural life.

The image above is an example of his bold approach. To provide some interest in what was going to be a pretty ordinary photograph, he set up a trampoline and had his daughter bounce into the shot. Who else would think of that?

Beautiful Ugly is published by Thames and Hudson.

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