Revisiting Pictures

Jack Davison at Foam Amsterdam

Two weeks ago Amsterdam-based museum Foam presented the first international exhibition of probably one of the most exciting talents on the rise in photography: Jack Davison. We first discovered his work last year when he joined renown agency mini title and through his inspirational collaboration with another great talent from England, artist Joe Cruz, which to our excitement was given a follow up some weeks ago. It is very thrilling to see this first step in a growing international recognition of Davison’s great talent, who without a doubt is destined to become a leading name in photography in the years to come. Davison’s work shows a diverse range of inspirations that he derived from the historical canon of photography—from Salvador Dali and August Sander, the Flickr community and the Internet in general, to Mark Michaelson’s infamous book, ‘Least Wanted: A Century of American Mugshots’, next to iconic imagemakers like Richard Avedon, Ernst Hass, Saul Leiter, Irving Penn, and Edward Weston.

As Foam has previously shown the work of many of the icons that inspired him, for the exhibition Davison is moving back and forth between photography’s past and present is an intriguing addition to the context of the photography museum. What you see in the exhibition is that Davison effortlessly employs and appropriates different genres and styles in what seems to be an endless stream of visual consciousness. In our eyes therewith young Davison forms a great hope for a world flooded with mediocre imagery, having grown up right in the middle of this ecosystem, transcending it by looking beyond just Instagram to all the iconic imagemakers of the past and bringing a new excellence into the digital age. Make sure to see the exhibition when in Amsterdam and follow this young photographer, who we believe will become an iconic imagemaker himself in the (near?) future.

Born and raised in Essex, in rural England, Jack Davison subsequently moved to Conventry in the West Midlands, where he studied English literature at Warwick University. As a photographer, he is self-taught. Since the age of fifteen, Davison has always taken his camera with him, constantly photographing his family and friends, strangers, and surroundings.

I lived in the countryside and my main access to seeing pictures was via the Internet. So it would be a case of me stumbling into people’s work and collecting things that I saw that struck a chord with me.

It is significant to Davison’s practice that he did not receive formal education in photography. This allowed him the time and space to take pictures without the pressure and rules that can come with studying art. His work is full of investigation and play, as he jumps between different cameras and mediums, styles and genres. Simultaneously, there is a distinct archival feel to Davison’s photographs. He started a collection of found photographs while traveling through the United States. “There is something really moving, exciting, and beautiful about pictures that families have discarded which stand out in piles of paper and draw themselves to you.” he explains. His own works reveal a similar urge to revisit and recreate a past that is no longer existent.

All images courtesy of Foam Amsterdam and Jack Davison.

The exhibition will run until the 5th of June at Foam Amsterdam, located at Keizersgracht 609 in Amsterdam. Opened Monday – Wednesday 10:00 until 18:00, Thurday – Friday 10:00 until 21:00, Saturday – Sunday 10:00 until 18:00.

For all information see here