Oliver Mayhall is the 25-year-old London-based photographer to get on your radar blending surrealism, street photography and portraiture. After studying history at university, Mayhall traveled through California, Mexico, Cuba and Colombia, “taking pictures along the way”.
“I then went onto study documentary filmmaking at Goldsmiths,” Oliver tells HUNGER. “I was full of ideas and inspiration and needed something to pour them into. I made a twenty-minute film called Launderette – it’s set entirely within a London Launderette and features a mish-mash of characters who answer my deeply personal questions over the course of a month. It’s based on the idea of ‘Sonder’ – the realisation that each person is living a life as vivid and complex as your own – with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherent craziness.”
Read our full interview with the emerging creative to watch below…
Hey Oliver! How would you describe your unique style of photography?
I’ve always found this question difficult to answer as my photography is always changing and developing. I’m learning every day, formulating new ideas and evolving. I’ve explored street photography, portraiture and the abstract. I guess one theme I hope people take from my work is a sense of the beauty in the everyday. I’m a bit of a romantic at heart and I guess I’m trying to create this curious little world around me.
Describe your aesthetic in 3 words…
Black, white, surreal.
Who are your biggest influences?
The world is an exciting, confusing and ever-changing place so different things inspire me each day. I keep a little book on me so I can jot down all my ideas. If anybody got their hands on it they would probably laugh (or worry).
One of my biggest inspirations has to be the late New York-based fashion and portrait photographer Rodney Smith. I could stare at his images all day. He created this whimsical world around him that I’ve never seen before. It’s beautiful.
Other people who inspire me? Irving Penn, Picasso, Salvador Dali, Magritte, Henri-Cartier-Bresson.
My parents are a massive influence (hi, mum and dad!). My dad is the most dedicated, hardworking man I know, I hope I’ve taken a little bit of that from him. I think all the emotion and romanticism comes from my beautiful mother!
What would you like to shoot more of in the future?
I’d like to shoot some more fashion and still life. I have so many ideas and I’m looking forward to creating them.
Finally, what’s up next for you?
The immediate future? I’m about to go travelling though Vietnam for a month with my camera – I can’t wait. Longer term? More and more opportunities are arising every day and it’s a very exciting time for me. I want to collaborate with more people – artists, designers, stylists, writers, and other photographers. Two, three, four scheming minds are better than one. I love bouncing off other people.
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26 November 2018