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Work / Photography

Henry Gorse’s photography balances trashy pop and tastefulness

“I was studying photography while I was working on a dairy farm,” says Henry Gorse on his introduction to the medium. “I would photograph my days at work and my mates in the evenings as we sought the next adventure around the countryside.”

Henry’s unique style, using combination of unusual elements that inject humour into the frame, developed from boredom. “We didn’t have much to do and making things up on the spot became a big part of my work. I would go from shooting the sunsets we were blessed with, to shooting a friend standing in front of a burning piano at night, in a white suit wearing flip flops.”

The juxtaposition of objects in Henry’s work, from plants to the regular use of banana skins, adds a comedic temperament when you look at his portfolio. “It’s the humour of it all I like to capture, the out of ordinary epic moments and the never seen before,” he tells It’s Nice That. “I was influenced equally by the really over the top stuff to the raw and snappy. LaChapelle has a much relevance as someone like Teller to my work, but then so does Pokemon.”

The photographer was exposed to the fashion industry, where a large part of his work is now, when he was working at a daylight studio. “It was a great place to understand lighting and mopping floors,” he explains. “The established photographers would enter the building like superheroes, have signature playlists, caterers, production and a crew of 20-25. Fashion had this energy I was hooked by, but this ridiculous nature I wanted to exploit and amplify in my own way.”

Henry’s work exaggerates the fashion industry by playing with styling and lighting, expanding it to the best of its ability and the maximum of its capabilities. Models use their clothing, body parts, and expressions to emphasise their personality rather than just being a clothes horse. “The model becomes a collaborator whether they like it or not. Sometimes they get it, sometimes they don’t. Sometimes it doesn’t matter either way.”

The photographer identifies his work as surreal, “but never romantic,” he explains. “It is trashy and pop inspired but remains tasteful. Without that balance it would be awful.”

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