For the month of December, Waterhouse & Dodd is pleased to highlight one of the gallery's newly represented artists, contemporary British photographer Kevin Vucic-Shepherd.
Born in Chatham, UK in 1966, Vucic-Shepherd was influenced by art, technology and architecture from an early age and went on to study architecture at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London upon receiving a scholarship. Although the artist would move into film and photography, his photographic practice is deeply rooted in architectural principals. By examining the relationships between spaces and questioning the primacy of perspective, Vucic-Shepherd has a very unique vantage point in his subjects. Utilizing fragments from hundreds of images he’s taken of simple, everyday scenes in urban cities and landscapes, and piecing them back together without the hierarchy of perspective, Vucic-Shepherd transforms simple, banal everyday scenes into complex and revealing worlds.
Waterhouse & Dodd’s consultant for Contemporary Art, Simone DiLaura, interviews Kevin Vucic-Shepherd from his central London studio discussing his photography practice and process.
SDL: What have been the most significant influences on your work, and who is inspiring you now?
KVS: Much of the influence on my work has actually come from painters. Pieter Bruegel the Elder is a massive influence. I love the way that he captures the everyday with multiple narratives and exquisite detail within his pictures - we can really get a sense of what normal life 500 years ago was like, as if we were there, passing by. I especially like his works "Winter Landscape with a Bird Trap" and "Hunters in the Snow".
Another great influence on my work is Paul Cézanne. I am fascinated by the way he looks at a simple object, like an apple or still life, and then breaks it down into a series of planes, directional strokes and line. This way of dissecting the subjects gives us a different viewpoint, a different experience of how we see those everyday objects. For me, he is a critical part of Modernism and an artist whose visual language has largely driven the way I think about making my own images.
I also get really inspired by contemporary installation works – some of my favorite artists are James Turell, Sarah Sze, and Mike Nelson - I guess it’s the suppressed architect in me!
Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Winter Landscape with Ice Skaters and Bird Trap, 1565.
Paul Cézanne, Still Life with Apples and Pears, ca. 1891-92.
SDL: Your works are shot with a very high-resolution camera so the images yield incredible detail – what are some of the more fun or quirky details we should look for in your images? What surprises have you been able to capture?
KVS: One of my favorites is the image Blackhorse Lane to Stonebow, there a quite a few characters in that piece. By chance, the day I was shooting they were having a dress-up day for charity. There are some Furies, Sgt Pepper, and a Damsel in there if you look closely. And another really fun image is one I did of Brighton Pier (We Dream of Escape, If Only for an Hour), there is a crazy amount of detail in that piece and some wild characters. I always try to get a very broad range of people in my photos, to capture the character of a place as well as the characters within it. My wife and son are usually somewhere in the works as well.
Kevin Vucic-Shepherd, Blackhorse Lane to Stonebow, 2017-18.
Kevin Vucic-Shepherd, We Dream of Escape, If Only for an Hour, 2015.
Detail from We Dream of Escape.
SDL: COVID has impacted artists greatly all over the world, how’ve you been coping over in London? Has this affected your work in any way, how you approach it and select subject matter?
KVS: COVID has been hard on everyone. I am lucky as I live next to a huge park so I'm always able to get out of the house for fresh air and a change of scenery. In terms of how this situation has affected my work, it has made it much more difficult in some ways because so few people are out and about on the streets now. The simple beauties and intricacies of everyday life are completely changed. Also, I want my work to be a celebration of life, and because this is such a hard time for everyone it's not really a time I necessarily want to capture and celebrate.
However, the downtime has given me time to reflect on what I am doing and the direction I want to take the work next, so it has been beneficial in that way.
SDL: Wonderful, so then what is next? What are you currently working on?
KVS: I am just finishing up a private commission of a large country house and a Townhouse section in London. These works are usually very labor intensive and can take many months to complete. And I have been thinking a lot about the idea of ‘Landscape’. I want to examine the many relationships between the man-made and the natural world, I think that will be one of my next series of works.
To hear more from Kevin Vucic-Shepherd about his work, please watch the video accompanying this segment.
Waterhouse & Dodd is pleased to exclusively represent Kevin Vucic-Shepherd in the US. To see his extraordinary works, please visit his artist page HERE.
For further information or any inquiries, please email us at email@example.com or call +1(212) 717-9100.