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Jack English

JACK ENGLISH Photographer Scroll to Explore Chronicler of the Famous and the Destitute

Slide WHO IS
TRAILER CHRONICLER OF THE FAMOUS AND DESTITUTE Photographer Jack English captures striking, evocative portraits of movie stars, rock n’ roll legends and the Los Angeles homeless population. Working primarily as a film set photographer since the early 1990’s, English’s work brings a painterly quality to the medium of still photography.

His unique style combines standards of fashion and magazine photography with elements of earthy realism and more dreamlike surrealist concepts. He shoots in both black & white and color, imparting a rich texture to his images that recalls the atmospheric cinema of Orson Welles and Alfred Hitchcock.


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Slide CAREER BEGINNINGS English has acknowledged an affinity for classic movies — which makes sense given his work behind the scenes on various film sets — while also drawing on influences ranging from the British painter Francis Bacon to the contemporary German artist Gerhard Richter.

English began his career through chance encounters with the jazz musician Chet Baker and the pop artist Andy Warhol. After both subjects agreed to pose for the then amateur photographer, English’s work caught the eye of the musician Eric Clapton, who invited English to photograph Clapton’s tour and, subsequently, the liner note images for the blues album From the Cradle.

Slide DIGNITY IN PHOTOGRAPHY English’s first stint on a film set was for Gary Oldman’s directorial debut Nil by Mouth, and English has continued to work with Oldman as both an artistic muse and creative collaborator. In addition to the many poignant portraits of Oldman on and off film sets, English has shot elegant photographs of performers such as Michael Fassbender, Keira Knightley and the late John Hurt. In 2008, English undertook an audacious project to chronicle the lives of the residents in Downtown LA’s Skid Row, training his artistic eye to a less controlled environment in order to examine the shortcomings of the so-called American Dream.

This stunning series presents the lives of downtrodden subjects with the same grace, dignity and humanity as the rich and famous subjects in English’s other work; English later returned to this same area for an experimental project using a Leica digital camera. English’s work is a testament to how pictures of the human face can tell stories beyond those we see on the screen or in the street.

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