David Lynch is a man of many talents. Although he is best known for his cinema, over the years he has branched out as far as his own brand of coffee, the production of music, various interior design projects and basically everything that’s moldable into his moody enigmatic and subversive aesthetic. His latest form of expression, although he has been doing it throughout his life, was the exhibition and publication of his photographic series called ‘The Factory Photographs’ at the London-based Photographers’ Gallery. The series reveal Lynch’s self-confessed love of industry, machinery, man-made objects, and ‘people hard at work’. The dark and brooding series of black and white photographs were taken at derelict factories in Germany, Poland, New York and England, among other places. His unique cinematic style is much in evidence in his depictions of labyrinths of passages, detritus and decaying manmade structures slowly being taken over by nature.
Lynch has said that the appeal of the abandoned factory is that “it seems like such a great place to set a story”, underlining that he’s very cinematic in his still photography. “I love industry. Pipes. I love fluid and smoke. I love man-made things. I like to see people hard at work, and I like to see sludge and man-made waste.” About this connection between his primary art form cinema and still photography Lynch stated in conversation with Dazed:
Every medium is its own thing and is infinitely deep. And there’s a connection, obviously, between cinema and still photography. For me, still photography was born out of cinema, but a still is just one frame that pulls you deeper and deeper in. It’s about the beauty of one image.
The exhibition which closed on the 30th of March was the first European showcasing of this photography project and is accompanied by one of Lynch’s sound installations. The fully illustrated book which was release parallel to the exhibitions, ‘David Lynch: The Factory Photographs’, was published by Prestel, and sold out within weeks at the Gallery Bookshop, to get a copy one has to try his luck on the second hand market.
We love how David Lynch always finds forms to express himself, without losing his signature aesthetic.