Tom Evangelidis / Facade / September 03 – 27 2014
Tom Evangelidis rejects this candy-coated world of architectural perfection in favour of a style that’s relentlessly honest and unapologetically raw. He is drawn to the details that give our urban landscape its character and richness – the unsightly garbage dumpsters that sit jarringly beside cathedrals of flawless beauty; the peeling paint that curls from the doors of once luxurious homes; and the concrete monstrosities that loom above vast industrial wastelands.
Façade documents an eclectic mix of architectural eras from the gothic beauty of the 13th century to the ornate decadence of the 18th century and the austere classicism of the Communist era in the 20th century. The photographs were shot in Prague, Bucharest, Hanoi, St Petersburg, Sofia, Istanbul and Havana – a reflection of the photographer’s fascination with how time takes its toll on glorious architectural movements throughout history.
Although the cities tells their own tales of turmoil and change, for Evangelidis the precise location of each photograph is incidental. He refrains from revealing too much about where each building stands, and he dodges clichéd settings that might belong on a postcard.
As a photographer, Evangelidis is fascinated by the evolution of architecture and its intricate links with politics, culture and class. He approaches major public installations with the same respect as humble, ramshackle homes because he understands they are equally important in documenting the progression – and decline – of history.
This body of work was shot using traditional methods. Evangelidis uses a custom made wooden large format camera and only one single sheet of film per location.
Tom Evangelidis grew up along the northern beaches of Sydney, Australia. He made his debut as a fashion photographer in London in the early 1990s before returning to Sydney to work in the television and theatre industries.
Twelve years ago, Evangelidis shifted his focus to interior design and lifestyle photography, simultaneously travelling the world to pursue his passion for architecture. The result was three exhibitions in Sydney titled Prague Architectural Portraits (1999), Casa Particular (2003) and Lost in Hanoi (2004), which document the diversity of architectural styles in the Czech Republic, Cuba and Vietnam. Façade is the culmination of all three exhibitions plus four additional photographic journeys through Russia, Romania, Turkey and Bulgaria, which were taken over a 10-year period.
Critics have praised Evangelidis for his “technical brilliance and subtle eye” and his “entrancing scale, colour and texture”. His evolution as a photographer is accented by his innate appreciation for beauty, particularly beauty unveiled in unexpected locations. Evangelidis’ unique understanding of people, objects, antiques, music, faces and places, collectively lend an air of ‘painterly’ sophistication to his work. Evangelidis is currently based in Sydney, where he continues to work as a photographer.
Media / Press:
Kane, Imperfect Architecture, Smith Journal, 11 September 2014
Tom Evangelidis: Façade, Flouro Digital, 6 September 2014
Fiona Smith, The importance of front, Financial Review, 30 August 2014