Over recent years, Simon Davidson has become recognised as one of Australia’s leading photographers. Self-taught, he has created a successful career photographing a wide variety of subjects, creating content in both the advertising and editorial environments internationally.
He has developed a comprehensive portfolio of personal work that includes solo and group shows and many private commissions. His work has been published around the world and is collected by a number of galleries and has been featured extensively in leading national and global publications and online platforms.
While his work continues to be recognised internationally across a broad spectrum of genres, his primary love is photographing cars, especially muscle and custom car culture. Simon understands cars in a way that few others do; he appreciates their form as pure representations of an aesthetic impulse that elevates their power and speed to a level of personal expression.
A car is not simply something to get from one place to another but a statement of identity, a commentary on not just who you are but who you aspire to be.
Simon's approach to this subject is founded on a deep understanding of the culture and its creators and followers. As a photographer, he is dedicated to much more than just speed and adrenalin: he is looking to capture the essence of the culture, rather than the simple enthusiasms of its rev-head adherents.
With his Burnout series he recognises beauty where it’s not immediately obvious. He finds expression in a car spinning its rear wheels with the single purpose of destruction. His images are superbly composed contemplations of the moment. Slices in time that hold the gaze with car, driver and movement balanced in an ideal expression of a sublime modernity.
His images of the Bonneville Salt Flats extend the vision, with the white saltpan acting as a stage of the infinite in which the inter-relation of speed, time and space are measured in absolutes. There is, quite literally, nothing there to disturb the pure expression of speed other than the salt on which they drive. This milky immensity becomes a blank canvas against which the carefully considered drama of petrol and steel is determined by the mechanics wrench and the steady pressure of foot on accelerator. Simon's photographs detail the mood of refined power. It's a celebration of speed that is nuanced by knowledge of culture and history that gives these images their incredible resonance.