The exhibition of photographs by British photographer David Farrell opens in London this week, drawing together some of his best portraits of musicians, actors, authors, dancers and artists.
The London-born artist, who died last year, carries an interesting back story to his career: photography was, in fact, a fallback when he abandoned his dreams of being a professional violinist.
In something of a coup, his first commission was from the British Council, for whom he found himself snapping a series of incredible artists including Henry Moore, Eduardo Paolozzi and Barbara Hepworth.
Following on from these portraits, Farrell found himself consistently working for a number of newspapers and magazines, making a name for himself with his knack for capturing his subjects in seemingly unstaged, natural poses.
He was said to have based this style on that on Henri Carter-Bersson, who spoke of a ‘humanitarian’ stance in photography, meaning that he eschewed formal portrait settings, instead looking to photograph people in their natural environments – the home, or for artists, the studio.
‘He had a knack of being in the right place at the right time’, says London’s Osborne Samuel gallery, which is hosting the show.
‘His approach proved popular with his sitters; Paul Scofield described him as the one photographer “who never intruded”. John Gielgud, on seeing his portrait, asked “David, where were you? I didn’t know you were there!”’
David Farrell runs from 1 – 20 September at Osborne Samuel, 23a Bruton Street, London W1J 6QG