John Dobson

Rushcutters Bay, Australia

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In my series Visual Art Icons, I reference visual arts icons from fine art, film, and photography from antiquity to 20th and 21st-century popular culture. In all the examples, the original image spoke to me, remaining in my subconscious, compelling me to pay homage, honor and photographically interpret or reinterpret the original work, while capturing the essence of the original and gaining an understanding of what makes the work iconic. As a photographer it is a way for me to understand the light, composition, design, styling, mise-en-scène, symbolism, and color palette of the original without imposing my own idiosyncratic values onto it. Recreating a painting photographically, I change the medium and, in so doing, comment on it through a 21st-century point of view. Sometimes, that is enough of a shift in itself. In the process I examine the essence of the image, deconstruct it and discover what makes it iconic. Often I begin with the intention of recreating the image as authentically as possible. Sometimes, however, either through design or necessity, I end up imposing my own angle or sense of irony into the shot.
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ag_updated_at : 2022-05-19 07:43:54 UTC
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ag_region : Rushcutters Bay, Australia
ag_facebook_url : https://www.facebook.com/john.dobson.3745
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ag_website : johndobson.photography
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ag_artist_statement : Visual Arts Icons In this series I reference visual arts icons from fine art, film and photography. In all the examples, the original image spoke to me, remaining in my subconscious compelling me to pay homage and photographically interpret or reinterpret the original work, while capturing the essence of the original. As a photographer it is a way for me to understand lighting, composition, design, styling, mise-en-scène and color palate. Recreating a painting photographically, I am changing the medium and, in so doing, commenting on it. Sometimes for me that is enough of a shift in itself. In the process I examine the essence of the image, deconstruct it and discover what makes it iconic. Often I begin with the intention of recreating the image as authentically as possible. Sometimes, however, I can’t help myself and either through design or necessity I end up imposing my own angle or a sense of irony into the shot. Although In my interpretation of these iconic images varies from an almost faithful recreation of the original, translating paint to pixels, with an occasional anachronism, such as the zip on the hoodie of “Man with a Red Turban” to a more ironic approach of my homage to Leonardo’s ‘Salvator Mundi’ where out of my inability to source a glass orb I substitute a disco mirror ball instead, while still paying meticulous attention to all other elements that make up the image. In replicating the photographic icons I made the creative choice to reinterpret all historical black and white images in color. The one consistent element in all the images is my framing and composition, which I have tried to replicate exactly, and my reverence for the original.
ag_biography : Name: John Dobson Email: [email protected] Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/john.dobson.3745 Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dobson1264/ Website: www.johndobson.photography Biography Born in Melbourne, Australia, after graduating from Frankfurt International School in Germany, I studied Graphic Design at Maidstone College of Art in the UK, where I first began taking photographs seriously, and then at the Royal College of Art in London. Returning to Australia, after spending most of the 1980s working as an art director in the world of advertising, then drifting off to pursue various other creative endeavors, I decided the spontaneity of photography and designing within the context of a photographic frame and working with light and shadow more suited to my temperament. Studying Graphic Design at Art College taught me lateral and conceptual thinking, a Diploma of Photography from Sydney Institute of TAFE Ultimo taught me the photographic technique I needed to successfully execute my concepts.
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ag_artist_firstname : John
ag_artist_lastname : Dobson
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ag_website:_artist : http://johndobson.photography/
ag_website:_artmine : http://www.art-mine.com/artistpage/John_Dobson.aspx
ag_press_release :

From erotically-charged fetish photography to travel shots and Renaissance-inspired still lives, Australian photographer John Dobson creates densely evocative tableaux with a surrealist edge. His work is inspired by Old Hollywood glamor, 20th-century avant-garde photography as well as 1970s punk rock culture, which he experienced while living in London as a student.

John Dobson selects images that speak to his subconscious. He begins with the intent of recreating them as authentically as possible, but oftentimes, either through design or necessity, ends up imposing his own angle and sense of irony onto the shots. He stages his subjects methodically, with almost obsessive precision, be they humans, fake fruit, or architectural landmarks. Elegant and statuesque, they look back at us with a vague enigmatic air that borders on defiance. They are like characters in a play of illusion, luring the audience into a world of dreams; a world concealed behind a thick curtain of pink latex, which could equally hide poisonous traps or forbidden pleasures. This results in shots of striking visual power and an extraordinary magnetic pull.

John Dobson studied Graphic Design at the Royal College of Art, in London, and the Maidstone College of Art in Kent, UK. He worked in advertising as an art director for many years, briefing photographers, while taking photographs for himself in his spare time. Wanting to explore the technical side of photography, he completed a Diploma of Photography and a Certificate IV of Photography at TAFE NSW Ultimo, Sydney. Besides England, he lived in Germany and traveled extensively throughout Europe and the United States. He is currently based in Melbourne, Australia.


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ag_rep_begin_date : 10/28/2021
ag_rep_end_date : 10/28/2022
ag_representation_status : Active
ag_representation_level : Basic 1 Year Plan
ag_website:_agora : https://www.agora-gallery.com/artistpage/John_Dobson.aspx
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ag_web_statement : In my series Visual Art Icons, I reference visual arts icons from fine art, film, and photography from antiquity to 20th and 21st-century popular culture. In all the examples, the original image spoke to me, remaining in my subconscious, compelling me to pay homage, honor and photographically interpret or reinterpret the original work, while capturing the essence of the original and gaining an understanding of what makes the work iconic. As a photographer it is a way for me to understand the light, composition, design, styling, mise-en-scène, symbolism, and color palette of the original without imposing my own idiosyncratic values onto it. Recreating a painting photographically, I change the medium and, in so doing, comment on it through a 21st-century point of view. Sometimes, that is enough of a shift in itself. In the process I examine the essence of the image, deconstruct it and discover what makes it iconic. Often I begin with the intention of recreating the image as authentically as possible. Sometimes, however, either through design or necessity, I end up imposing my own angle or sense of irony into the shot.
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Beach Huts, Brighton Beach, Melbourne, Australia 5, 2018

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Beach Huts, Brighton Beach, Melbourne, Australia 6, 2016

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Beach Huts, Brighton Beach, Melbourne, Australia 4, 2017

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Beach Huts, Brighton Beach, Melbourne, Australia 3, 2017

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Amsterdam, Netherlands 2, 2015

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Amsterdam, Netherlands 1, 2015

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Lake Wendouree, Ballarat, Victoria, Australia 4, 2017

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Weymouth, Dorset, UK 1, 2015

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Beach Huts, Brighton Beach, Melbourne, Australia 2, 2016

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Beach Huts, Brighton Beach, Melbourne, Australia 1, 2017

Canson Baryta Photographique 310

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$1500