Starting his career as a portrait photographer in 1990 following a serendipitous encounter with Stephen Fry, Andy Gotts MBE is noted for his ability to capture portraits that feel as intimate as they are revealing, taking simple yet powerful photographs that depict the person behind the persona.
Now a solo exhibition at Maddox Gallery, London, showcases his work with celebrities including Al Pacino, Ian McKellen, Harrison Ford and Kylie Minogue.
(Top of page – The Monty Python team, © Andy Gotts, courtesy of Maddox gallery)
Known as ‘One-Shot Gotts’, a name bestowed by Paul Newman, he has a unique ability to distil the essence of his subjects, leaving us with an array of images that say more about these famous faces than words ever can.
Glancing through this array of stars from stage, screen and catwalk – a seemingly comprehensive list of all the cultural icons of our time – it is hard to believe that just one person unites all of these famous faces.
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Taking a technical approach that sees him attend photoshoots alone, Andy works without a barrage of assistants, forging personal relationships with his subjects and using the same basic principles of lighting that he was taught at college. Highlighting the irony that we routinely take people whose beauty is their livelihood and airbrush them beyond recognition, Andy has a fierce loyalty to realism and refrains from editing his photos in the post-production process that we are now so accustomed to.
This stripped-back approach and commitment to authenticity results in one-of-a-kind photographs of the world’s most famous figures, portraying the reality of the lived-in faces that they are both comfortable with and proud of.
“I have two specific ‘GOTTS’ looks in my shots”, Andy explains. “My subjects either look miffed or quirky. This comes about as my shots happen during a conversation we are having at the time; so, whether we are having an intense chat or are in the middle of a rude joke…I am capturing that decisive moment in time. That split second, I as a photographer, choose to ‘click’ my shutter”.
Born from a wish list of people whom he had yet to shoot, ICONS is a collection of portraits that bring together the many famous faces and personal icons that have played a part in Andy’s career to date. Now celebrating 30 years within the industry as well as the launch of his latest book, the exhibition offers a diverse spread of icons old and new; of stars that have all come to be united by the wider and unique vision of one photographer, Andy Gotts.
Speaking at Maddox Gallery’s Westbourne Grove location, group CEO, John Russo, comments “Andy’s ability to capture an array of personalities in their most raw and naturally human form is testament to both his skill as an MBE honoured fine art photographer and his talent with people. Every Andy Gotts portrait is underpinned by a unique connection with his subject, allowing him to capture even the most internationally renowned Hollywood stars in a way that has never been seen before”.
ICONS will be available to view from the 2nd September to the 19th September at Maddox Gallery, 112 Westbourne Grove, London W2 5RU and online at www.maddoxgallery.com