From erotically-charged fetish photography to travel shots and Renaissance-inspired still lives, Australian photographer John Dobson creates densely evocative tableaux with a surrealist edge. His work is inspired by Old Hollywood glamor, 20th-century avant-garde photography as well as 1970s punk rock culture, which he experienced while living in London as a student.
John Dobson selects images that speak to his subconscious. He begins with the intent of recreating them as authentically as possible, but oftentimes, either through design or necessity, ends up imposing his own angle and sense of irony onto the shots. He stages his subjects methodically, with almost obsessive precision, be they humans, fake fruit, or architectural landmarks. Elegant and statuesque, they look back at us with a vague enigmatic air that borders on defiance. They are like characters in a play of illusion, luring the audience into a world of dreams; a world concealed behind a thick curtain of pink latex, which could equally hide poisonous traps or forbidden pleasures. This results in shots of striking visual power and an extraordinary magnetic pull.
John Dobson studied Graphic Design at the Royal College of Art, in London, and the Maidstone College of Art in Kent, UK. He worked in advertising as an art director for many years, briefing photographers, while taking photographs for himself in his spare time. Wanting to explore the technical side of photography, he completed a Diploma of Photography and a Certificate IV of Photography at TAFE NSW Ultimo, Sydney. Besides England, he lived in Germany and traveled extensively throughout Europe and the United States. He is currently based in Melbourne, Australia.