Art Talk | Simon Davidson
I'm such a big fan of Simon Davidson's work. From the moment I stumbled upon his photographs scrolling through Instagram, I was totally captivated by his images. Self-taught, Simon's primary love is photographing cars, especially muscle and custom car culture - what resonates in all his work is his ability to capture an immediate connection with his subject, whatever it may be.
Hi Simon, what are a couple of aspects of your job you find the most fulfilling? As a photographer, you meet people from all walks of life. You are given access to worlds that are not available to the general public.
Working as an artist and a photographer you are given the chance to be yourself. This is a freedom in a world with many rules and expectations.
Some of your work is heavily based on racing and cars - where does this fascination come from? I’ve always had a love affair with Australian and American cars of the 1960's. My daily driver at the moment is a 1964 Falcon Coupe. When I was looking for a personal project many years ago I fell into the world of muscle and custom car culture by chance.
Tell me about the beautiful play on colour in your Burnouts series, how was this concept first realised? The coloured smoke was a gift from the tyre companies. Tyres that produce coloured smoke were originally developed in Japan for the drifting scene. It was just a matter of time before the burnout scene here in Australia started using coloured tyres. Coloured smoke is the best.
Colour plays a big part in your work - what does it mean to you? I love the way colour affects all us emotionally. James Turrell is a hero of mine for his use of colour and light.
Your portraits are so captivating and raw - how do create such a strong connection? Most of the portraits on my website are people I had just met. I believe good portraits cannot be captured without trust. A conversation is the first step to gaining trust before a portrait is taken.
As a photographer, where do you go for inspiration? My go to place for inspiration is daydreaming. That great waking moment when all conscious thoughts are gone and the imagination flows. It’s like meditating with your eyes open.
What’s the greatest influence in your work? Other photographers, friends and peers. I love the history of photography, its traditions and its future.
What are you loving at the moment? The book, Barbarian Days – A Surfing Life by William Finnegan, using a drone to explore landscapes from above, yoga, the ocean and the big winter swells rolling in and I'm a sucker for Game of Thrones!
What are you looking forward to this year? Summer.