David Hamilton is back !
In a striped Savile Row suit, a white Panama hat and a glass of good wine in his hand, David Hamilton “is back”, and he is waiting for us in an ideal setting: a wood paneled suite in the Hotel Raphael. As if the master was receiving in the intimacy of his apartment with his latest creations on display: variations on adolescent feminine beauty. At first, nothing seems to have changed in a photographic style that resembles painting.
The two young directors of the Taureau agency, Ali Mesbahi and Gil Levasseur, convinced the “Lord of Ramatuelle” to leave the penumbra of the French Riviera. For an ambitious 7-tiered project: after photography, sculpture, painting, cinema, dance, etc… David Hamilton is the first of seven artists to offer his interpretation of “Poliphile’s Dream”. The book, written in Italy in 1467, was published in Venice during the Renaissance. Some think it is the most beautiful book in the world, and seems to have had great influence on garden arts, the decorations of court celebrations and a general overview of lifestyle under François 1er. The Dream of Poliphile tells the story of a young man seeking the woman he loves, represented by Polia. And David Hamilton in all of that? Poliphile falls asleep and his mind wanders: so it was no surprise that the photographer showed a fantasized setting, an Eden where young creatures pose nude. We are in a country where men love women… youth.
If the photographer’s famous “fog” has evaporated, he still treats the photo with blurs that are deliberately inspired by impressionistic paintings. He comments “To find my influences, you have to look among painters… For example the color treatment whose density and matter comes straight from Leonardo de Vinci.”
But David Hamilton’s latest work distances itself from the soft eroticism of the past, those that were exposed during the 1970’s and 80’s, contributing to his international fame. Which would disappoint some but will create new fans of Hamilton’s work, interested by these young flower girls, nude, young Dégas dancers in languid poses. At nearly 80, David Hamilton is still present in photography, taking pictures of still lifes and landscapes, contributing “enthusiastically” to the Taureau Agency’s project.
The sale offered 13 previously unreleased original copies, 60x80, signed by the artist. A hand bound book, illustrated for the series with lithographs and edited in three copies, was also offered.
David Hamilton, exhibitions to come in 2012 : Helsinki, Istanbul, Vienne.