After Henri Rousseau: Exotic Landscapes in The City of London
These photos are of the lobbies of large firms and banks, from the realm of rarefied wealth and financial power in the City of London, taken before the guards on the gates notice my camera and warn me off.
The artfully arranged office atriums conjure up for me the pictures of Henri Rousseau, after which I have named four of my photos. Curious sculptures and lush plants, amongst which the watchful doormen prowl, bring to mind the fantastical, dreamlike tableaux and faux exotica of Rousseau’s jungle paintings, where moments of Darwinian struggle or startlingly surreal strangeness unfold.
I have used high contrast and overexposure to illuminate the interiors so as to capture the peculiar nature of these spaces, in their function as the entry points to the esoteric machinations of the financial business. My pictures aim to reveal connections the architects were not aiming for: despite the impression their conspicuous consumption is calculated to produce, the anterooms take on the character of entrances into a world of dreams and illusions.