Julian Lennon Teams Up With Portia de Rossi’s General Public And RH

General Public—the art publishing firm created by Portia de Rossi—debuts a new collection at RH: the photography of Julian Lennon. The collection of 18 large-scale photographs includes painterly landscapes and cloudscapes, as well as people going about their daily lives. De Rossi says, “Julian is a very unique artist. Part of the reason that I gravitated toward him is he just has a unique perspective that really shines through in his work. He traveled so much in his life, he’s had such a diverse and interesting life experience that he uses for his work, and I can see the influence of his philanthropic interests in his work.” She continues, “There’s something very gentle about his photographs.” Lennon, whose photography has been exhibited in galleries worldwide, says his work is really about empathy. “We are all in this together, and hopefully someday, the world will realize that. Photography is one way to share, learn, appreciate, and experience other cultures, which in turn allows us to empathize with other people’s lives.”

Born in Liverpool, England, the son of John Lennon and his first wife, Cynthia, Julian began his artistic trajectory at a young age. He developed his personal expression through such mediums as music, documentary filmmaking, and philanthropy before exploring fine art photography. He eschews labels, preferring instead to focus on the creative process. “I can’t consider myself a photographer, really. I don’t like pigeonholing in any capacity, but I’m not a tech person when it comes to photography at all. For me, it’s very much about a kind of guerrilla photography. Any moment something can happen. I’ve never been one who likes to set things up in any way, shape or form.” He prefers instead to view the world in a more spontaneous way, through his unique point of view.

And sometimes that point of view is in motion. “I’d say quite possibly 50 percent of the images that I take are done in a moving car or truck. I see something and in a split second, I try and track it and follow it. Quite a few of the black and white ones are in motion: the kids, the fishermen over the wall and the kids over the wall, all in motion.”

He values the relationship with General Public and RH because of the support for the creative process. “The relationship couldn’t be nicer. It’s such a pleasure working with people that really know what they’re doing and really do a great job, and are motivated, and driven and excited.”

Portia de Rossi started General Public with the mission to bring top quality art prints to the market, because, as she says, “I really wanted to reproduce paintings and I wanted to reproduce them as accurately as possible with all the texture and brush strokes. What makes General Public so unique is our technology. We really started out as a technology company because we developed a scanning and printing method that nobody else does.” That process is called Synograph, and it allows the reproduction to look, and feel, exactly like the original work. De Rossi says that General Public artists are involved in this process. “The artists come to the factory and work with the digital art department to manipulate and finesse the images to be printed. These artists come in and see this 50-foot printer and think of it like a paintbrush sometimes, like how can I use this to create what I want?” With photography, de Rossi is exploring a new area. “Photography is not my expertise. But looking at Julian’s work and working with him daily really taught me that everything that I understand about making a good painting is pretty much the same as making a good photograph, in that composition is incredibly important.” She says she was drawn to Lennon’s work because of his classical composition. “The way he frames his pictures is beautiful. But also, the post-production process too. Taking the image is one thing, but then I love that he manipulates the image digitally to capture exactly what he wants to convey to the viewer.”

Lennon has a lot on his plate now, including new music, a new book, and of course, his photography. He is also heavily involved in the White Feather Foundation, a charitable organization he started in 2007, that focuses on support for Indigenous peoples all over the world. “They are the most logical people on the planet, and they have the answers to all the mistakes that we’re making. Their message is you’ve got to respect the place that you live, and the planet that you live on, and the people that you live with. Otherwise, it’s all going to go to bloody pot.” He is passionate about helping to find a way forward. “I find I’m probably as stressed out as much as you are that there isn’t more done, especially with the amount of money that’s in the world. It’s disgusting.” A portion of the sales of everything he does goes to the foundation, which is slowly expanding and gaining traction. “We’re now bringing into the fold more people, more ambassadors, who are helping us bridge the gap in many respects, not only to the causes, but hopefully by sponsorships and finances coming through. It’s all in the process right now, but we’re looking to do some bigger things down the road once we can get the support we need. But so far, we’re just the little train that could.”

Find Julian Lennon’s photography and other art through General Public, here.

For additional questions about Julian Lennon’s photography, please contact Wendy Posner of Posner Fine Art.

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