John Rae

Contemporary Conceptual Photography

John Rae: Untitled 01, Trans, F or M (2012)

My creative interest lies with the natural differences found within and between people; their faces, bodies and what they or we might label as “individuality”.

 I recognise and embrace the challenge of retaining an aesthetic quality when representing sometimes extreme components of identity which can, by some, be perceived as transgressive. 

A defining goal as an artist is to produce elegant, sensitive, stimulating imagery that may need to disobey normative cultural expectations, violate emerging trends and offend mainstream media sensitivities

Current Exhibition.

I grew up in a restricted environment with limited social exposure. This almost unique construct modelled unusual formative skills later compounded by attending a single sex school which coloured my view of both gender difference and sexuality in particular. 

I matured during the post-punk revolution and I have shared my life with a diverse range of people from various related subcultures. Informed by this, my work explores gender representation, neo-tribalism and the physical embodiment of some of these identifying themes.

Themes further develop and revolve around the dichotomies within “identity”; female and male, hidden and exposed, covert and overt and the battle between  rational versus instinctive human behaviours.

John Rae: Mia: A Hidden Gender (2011)

I shoot relatively low numbers of digital images giving careful thought to capture and primarily use controlled lighting to reveal or hide descriptive texture and form. Aesthetically I am excited by similarities and differences in shapes, colours and tone.

I use digital imaging software as the main creative tool but choose to source component images using digital photography due to the ease and immediacy of capture but also and covertly because of the misplaced power of indexical reality perceived by the viewer

Themes further develop and revolve around the dichotomies within “identity”; female and male, hidden and exposed, covert and overt and the battle between rational versus instinctive human behaviours.

Russ: Self Portrait, Self Scoring (2012)