the session at the harpan, reykjavik 2016
In July of 1995 Time Out magazine commissioned Gavin to shoot David Bowie. Twenty plus years later this 40 minute photographic session has come to be recognised as a uniquely significant cultural and historical record of the legendary artist. The Session is a touching and intimate exposé as Evans’ ability to unmask his subjects is revealed throughout this earthly depiction of Bowie the Starman. The Session is a unique portrayal of an unguarded Bowie- contemplative, irreverent, playful and exposed.
Since the untimely death of Bowie the public worldwide have embraced and claimed ownership of Evans’ portraits. The shoot was constantly referred to and became known as ‘The Session’. The iconic image of Bowie directing the viewer to quieten or calm was collectively named ‘Shh’ by the public before the photographer had the opportunity to title the image. Evans’ portraits resonate as they are a departure from the fashion, posed and stylised depictions of Bowie. Through his portraits the audience can relate to Bowie the man and his humanity.
Not only did the public take Evans’ portraits to heart, Bowie himself also acknowledged the strength of his work. Of all the portraits taken of Bowie one of Evans’ was a favourite of the artist. Bowie instructed the portrait of him coming out of the dark to run on the cover and final page of the V&A’s ‘Bowie Is’ book. The same photograph also hung in his Manhattan office.
On the 19th February 2016 the doors of the first The Institute, Berlin opened to the public. Over the course of 6 weeks more than 4,500 visitors made the pilgrimage to the new gallery. In the same year The Session was exhibited at The Institute Berlin, The Harpan, Reykjavik, Espronceda Centre for Art and Culture, Barcelona, A Galerie Paris and Photogalerie Sweden. Since the launch of The Session demand for Evans’ images has been unprecedented. His images have been recognised by prestigious academies, institutions and cultural bodies worldwide. A plethora of Bowie books and biographies have reproduced Evans’ images on their cover including: Lesley-Ann Jones Hero: David Bowie, Chris Welch David Bowie: Changes, Christopher Sandford Loving the Alien and David Buckley Strange Fascination: David Bowie: The Definitive Story. His portraits have graced the covers of periodicals and magazines including The Guardian, Paris Match and Rolling Stone magazine. Sotheby’s chose his work to signal the hugely anticipated auction of Bowie’s art collection. The BBC, CNN, Sky TV and others channels chose his images to illustrate Bowie features. The producers of Bowie’s musical Lazarus elected to use Evans’ photograph as the lead image and The Grammy’s chose his portrait to promote the world’s premier music award ceremony. The Rubens House in Antwerp are using Evans’ portrait to publicise the exhibition of David Bowie’s Tintoretto.
the session at theinstitute.berlin gallery 2016