A new portfolio of images from Rory Lewis, the British portrait specialist, will be unveiled on August 1 at the Wex Photo Video Gallery in East London. The body of work will feature 24 previously unseen photographs of well-known actors and high-profile public figures.
Rory’s vivid and thought-provoking portraits include renowned and respected characters from the world of film and television, such as Sir Patrick Stewart, Sir Ian McKellen, Ciarán Hinds, David Bamber, Tobias Menzies, William Shatner, Rufus Sewell and more. The exhibition will also feature prominent political figures, such as former Prime Minister David Cameron and members of the Royal Family, including Prince Michael of Kent.
Challenging the established norm when capturing images, Rory injects moments of impulsiveness and even awkwardness into his imagery. He successfully shuns the aggrandising and sycophantic results typically seen in portraits of the famous. Rory’s aim is to strip back the artificial layers of staid portraiture and replace it with strangeness and a sense of quiet.
Rory Lewis commented, “So much of the portraiture commissioned in the press and print industry is reluctant to take risks, and I try to challenge that safety. In any commission, I always make sure that I have one moment at the end, which I like to call my ‘dessert’, where I’ve finished my brief and I have that person to myself. You shouldn’t waste your moments. In many of my sittings I only have five or ten minutes, so I have to break the ice with my subject very quickly. I like to keep them in continuous motion and direction in order to capture the movement of their thoughts.
“When I’m working with an actor, I like them to act. I’m always waiting for that moment of spontaneity in expression. I ask them to move and express themselves, and I try to work them into a frenzy. I don’t think photographers do that enough.”
Matt Devine, head of content at Wex Photo Video, said, “We’re honoured to present such an outstanding new collection of portraits in this very special showcase at our London gallery. We hope that Rory’s extraordinary style and approach will inspire other photographers to experiment with their portraiture, and we look forward to welcoming visitors to experience this work for the first time, with a chance to own an exclusive print from the exhibition.”
Limited edition prints of Rory’s iconic work will be available for purchase throughout the exhibition period. The showing is presented in collaboration with Epson. Each photograph is printed on Epson Premium Luster media, with output on an Epson SureColor SC-P800 A2 and Epson SureColor SC-P20000 64” (AO) printer.
The exhibition will be open to the public for two months, from 1 August until 30 September 2018. The Wet Photo Video Gallery is at 37-39 Commercial Road, London E1 1LF and the nearest Underground station is Aldgate East. You can check opening hours here.