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David Stewart | Between Whimsy and Dread

David Stewart (born 1958 in Lancaster) is an English photographer and director, working in advertising and fine art photography. He is noted for his surreal and often humorous large format portraits. Stewart began his career photographing tourists on morecambe promenade and punk bands, including The Clash and The Ramones, as they performed at local venues. Ater studying photography at Blackpool and The Fylde College, Stewart moved to London in 1981, assisting for three years before setting up his own studio. He has since become one of the UK’s most sought-after photographers splitting his time been working on personal projects and advertising commissions. His first collection, Cabbage, a surrealistic tribute to the much-maligned vegetable, was accompanied by a short film that was nominated for a BAFTA in 1995.

His photographs of women posed in various interior and exterior situations are not only technically brilliant but serve to ask more questions than they answer. This ambiguity is present in all his work. His series on UK teenagers, which are shown later in this post, reveal the herd-like instinct of this self-absorbed age group.  The interior shots of open car doors manage to show us the eccentricities of his subjects, like photos of people and their dogs, the cars reflect the person’s taste and character.

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