I’ve been captivated by the world of David Hamilton since I came across his work in a Paris bookshop more than 12 years ago.
I love the neo-romantic spirit of the hippie generation he depicts in his photography. Young and exquisite innocent girls with long loose hair, almost no makeup, Indian sandals or espadrilles, broderie anglaise maxi length dresses, a natural elegance, long legs, purity, freshness, harmony, simplicity, all things untouched. He has created his own particular world, far from the visual chaos of contemporary life, radically rejecting any signs of the times. Feelings of peace, love and freedom but also the desire to improve the world radiate from his images. A libertarian approach to morals, the pursuit of pleasure but also a focus on ecology, the human body, landscapes, seascapes, still life, architecture and the refusal to accept progress are all recurring themes. The Hamilton style is instantly recognisable: dance of light and colour, dreamlike quality, romantic and erotic, softness and perfect equilibrium of compositions obtained by breathing lightly on the objective. His approach marked the images of the seventies. He seeks beauty and almost virginal purity and ignores the signs of modernity.
He has sold in excess of one million books but American publishers still refuse to put his work in print. In the seventies, at the height of sexual freedom, he sold over 100,000 copies. His last published book (2006 I think) was only printed in a limited series of 8000. Mentalities have changed and his images are today considered controversial. Guy Bourdin and Helmut Newton, two of his contemporaries, have produced images showing women in a much more provocative manner but never seemed to generate as much polemic as he has!
His work is the work of a true and passionate artist who deserves more recognition in the photography/art world.
He continues to be copied and the essence of his style lives on through the images created by contemporary fashion photographers.
Click below for a really interesting interview with David Hamilton
(Click on his portrait)
Link to some of his best photos and comments by the artist himself! Amazing ...
(Click on the nude)
The scans are all shit. Sorry.
I forgot to mention that he has worked for ELLE and was the Creative Director of Printemps in Paris.
Thinking about his photography I realized that if he could have been a painter he would have been Balthus! Another artist I'm passionate about.