Gerard Jefferson-Lewis



Click on a thumbnail image above to enlarge.

From the series 'Untitled' (Butcher Boys) Portrait Number 472

Marek (22) , Edinburgh, 2016

Untitled (Marchmont), 2015

'Untitled' (Butcher Boys) Portrait Number 541

'Untitled' (Tasse Tea), Edinburgh, 2016

From the series entitled: North Sea Carnival, April, 2011


Gerard Jefferson-Lewis’s work explores the fragility and transience of the portrait subject. At first sight these images may offer few clues to the personality of the sitter. A closer look reveals a strange sense of presence and an intimate view of the subject, which emphasises the sensuality and the instability of blank-faced portraits. It is however, a matter of conjecture how this interpretation might be challenged by the diversity of subject positions brought into play by the viewer and the ideologically determined perspectives of others. These portraits negotiate the relations between photographic style and pleasure of looking very closely at these sitters. Jefferson presents both aesthetic artefacts and human subjects and seems to ask the viewer which is the dominant reading.

The formal character of this typological display offers an alternative narrative that competes for attention. The large-scale triptych of the images, the high viewpoint, and other qualities, reveal the hand (and the eye) of the photographer. The preoccupation with photographic effect steers attention to the production process and the technique deployed. This in turn reinforces the desire to know what these subjects mean.

The image of the body is coded by modernity and this in turn is informed by an art-historical view of male youth. Jefferson-Lewis’s carefully constructed portraits attempt to disrupt and explore the conventionality of the male gaze by dismantling clichés and repressive notions of masculinity.

“Photographs are peculiar images because they are pictures that are not straightforwardly pictures” (Steve Edwards, “’Profane Illumination’: Photography and photomontage in the USSR and Germany,” in Steve Edwards and Paul Wood (eds.,), 2004, The Art of the Avant-Gardes, Yale University Press, New Haven and London in Association with the Open University, p. 402)


Born in the Ireland 1966, Gerard has exhibited internationally including Paris, Dublin, London and Edinburgh. Gerard is an ex-seminarian which is probably reflected in the spiritual and contemplative nature of his practice.His practice has featured in the British Journal of Photography and appeared in publications around the world, including the Wall Street Journal Europe. Gerard lives in Edinburgh.