Australian fashion photographer Bruno Benini took many portraits of artists, including performing artists (dancers, singers, musicians), In this stylish portrait of artist Greg Irvine, bruno has captured Irvine gazing down towards the lens of the camera as he poses in front of one of his Greek paintings dressed artistically in fashionable ethnic-style attire. The shot was taken at Irvine's exhibition of Greek paintings held at South Yarra Gallery in 1971.
At the time, fashion photographers would often feature recent photographs in the reception areas of their studios. If Bruno particularly liked a shot, he too would make a 'blow-up' and pin it up in his studio. The print was developed and displayed in Bruno Benini's McKillop Street studio in the Melbourne CBD. The walls of this studio were covered in 20 x 24 inch prints. Over the years, some became damaged and were thrown out, however many remain, including this print with pin holes still visible in each corner.
Sculptor and a painter, Greg Irvine was a friend of Bruno and Hazel Benini. He was also an avid collector of antique furniture, Victorian ceramics and tableware, glassware, enamelware, tortoiseshell and bakelite objects, vintage fabrics, suitcases, decorative boxes, jewellery and antique purses which often found their way into his paintings.
'A visit to the home of Melbourne artist Greg Irvine is a "down the rabbit hole" experience. This is a truly magical space that feels a little like stumbling absent-mindedly into a sort of alternate world.' (1)
This portrait of the artist seems to capture some of that magic, possibly through the complex layering of texture and design.
1. Lucy Feagins, 'Inside the eclectic home of discerning collector Greg Irvine', The Design Files, Domain, November, 2014. https://www.domain.com.au/living/the-design-files-inside-the-eclectic-home-of-discerning-collector-greg-irvine-20170330-guxdwn/ (Accessed 21/2/2018)
Benini, Hazel and Anne-Marie Van de Ven, Crearting the Look: Benini and fashion photography, Powerhouse Publishing, 2010