Summer 2020

Jack Davison: Play of light

Each of Jack Davison’s portraits is a spontaneous dance with his subject, says New York Times Magazine photo director Kathy Ryan [EXTRACT]

Most studio photographers’ tool kits include lights, softboxes, umbrellas and backdrops. Jack Davison brought none of these to the New York Times Magazine’s ‘Great Performers’ photo sessions last year. He arrived at the studio with clear glass jars, candy dish lids, vases, pieces of mottled glass, gauzy fabrics and myriad other objects he uses as screens to photograph his sitters through. He is keen on arranging the face in ways that call to mind Picasso and Francis Bacon’s portraits. Presented with beauty, he aims to distort it.


Cover featuring Adam Driver. Design director: Gail Bichler.
Top. Brad Pitt.
Portraits by Jack Davison commissioned by The New York Times Magazine for its annual ‘Great Performers’ portfolio, 15 December 2019. All were used as cover images in a split run that featured six different actors on six covers. Photo director: Kathy Ryan.


Kathy Ryan, New York Times Magazine director of photography, and author of Office Romance, New York

Read the full version in Eye no. 100 vol. 25, 2020


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