OF GODS AND MONSTERS
SHOW EXTENDED TO 22ND AUGUST, 2009
OF GODS AND MONSTERS
Photographs and Words by Matthew R Lewis
Stephen Fry © Matthew R Lewis Estate 2009
‘Stephen Fry has a halo encircling his head but this photo is cropped so tight you cannot see it, which is why he looks so pissed off. He’s surrounded by an invisible bureaucratic machine, yet he has such a kind heart, sometimes the strict machine is entirely inefficient.’ – Matthew R Lewis.
7th August to 22nd August, 2009.
The Movie Poster Art Gallery
1 Colville Place, London W1T 2BG
Matthew R Lewis, the portrait photographer, committed suicide on ‘23rd’ May 2009. He had been suffering with mental health problems for many years.
At the time of his death he was working on ‘OF GODS AND MONSTERS’, an exhibition of portraits accompanied by his words. He predicted his absence...
‘The name of a man is a numbing blow from which he never recovers so like all dead men, I am present here in absence.’
Of the portraits Matthew said:
‘These photographs are a very small selection of truly individual souls I was lucky to encounter during a seventeen-year interval addicted to opiates. Perhaps they are the measure of the achievements of a collective dream.’
‘Sorting through the photographs beneath my bed, I find an imitation of Christ, ‘The Pope’, Akhenaten, [the Living God], I find my Kuoros and a one eyed Goat. Across the spectrum, there are so many faces’ – some of them might be up with the Angels, but there is only the one who manifests a Saint.’
Andrew Shanahan, Matthew’s partner of twenty years, is putting on this exhibition in celebration of Matthew’s life. ‘All the photographs are framed and waiting under the stairs and the accompanying words are on Matthew’s laptop. It feels like the right thing to do.’
The exhibition is free of charge and open to the public. Prints are available for sale.
A donation of 50% of the profits from print sales will be split between MIND and MDF, The BiPolar Organisation.
Matthew was born in 1959, Hertfordshire, England. He studied theatre design in North London and at Antioch College, Ohio. A self taught photographer. A regular contributor to i-D Magazine, his work also featured in Frieze, Attitude and Gay Times. His photographs can be found in books including Fully Exposed – Emmanuel Cooper and With Gilbert and George – In Moscow – Dan Farson.
A number of Matthew’s photographs can be seen as part of the set design for Matthew Bourne’s, Dorian Gray, on tour with New Adventures.
"An art director’s dream. His haunting images go against the tone of most fashion photography." i-D Magazine.
‘Some people grow flowers, some people paint flowers, and others cut them.
Matthew Lewis dries them. These are the ashes. The ritual is complete.’
‘...the English Diane Arbus...’ Gai Pied.