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Rory Lewis to Exhibit Unseen Portraiture in London

Mike Bishop
3 months ago

A New body of work from British portrait photographer Rory Lewis is to be unveiled for the first time from the 1st of August at the Wex Photo Video Gallery in London

Dividing his time between London and Los Angeles, Rory Lewis works as a dedicated portrait photographer who has spent over a decade capturing many of the world’s most recognised faces, including William Shatner, Sir John Major, Sir Derek Jacobi, Iain Glen and Natalie Dormer. His images have been exhibited on both sides of the Atlantic, and several of his portraits have been acquired by London’s National Portrait Gallery. His recent project, ‘Soldiery’, which documented the British Army of the 21st Century, was completed over a two year period and has been hailed as a national success story, named by the BBC as ‘The changing face of the British Army.

Rory Lewis
Rory Lewis

Entitled ‘Portraitist’, the new exhibition, which features 24 previously unseen photographs of distinguished actors and high-profile public figures. will be held from Wednesday 1 August to Sunday 30 September 2018 at the Wex Photo Video Gallery in London.

Along with recognised and respected figures from the world of film and television, 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.

Sir Patrick Stewart © Rory Lewis
Sir Patrick Stewart © Rory Lewis
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.
Rory Lewis

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.

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.
Matt Devine, head of content at Wex Photo Video
Sir Ian McKellen © Rory Lewis
Sir Ian McKellen © Rory Lewis

Exhibition location:

Wex Photo Video Gallery
37-39 Commercial Road, London E1 1LF
Tel: 020 7380 1144
Nearest tube: Aldgate East
Opening hours can be found here. Entry to the exhibition is free of charge.

Rory Lewis Lighting Masterclass
For photographers wishing to learn some of his exceptional techniques, Rory will hold a professional lighting masterclass at Wex Photo Video on Thursday 9 August, 10am-5pm.

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