Flower Fetish

Moody Flora Photographs by Arthur Meehan

“My pictures of flowers came mostly from my love of photographing the female form,” explains American photographer Arthur Meehan. What began as a project to compliment his 2008 collection of nudes has taken on a life of its own, culminating in his latest exhibition, The Wine Box Series, which runs from March 11 to April 3 at London's Jonathan Cooper Gallery. Switching from fauna to flora was natural enough, but finding ideal petal subjects proved a challenge. “I had a florist in New York who had an extraordinary eye, but his shop closed. The flowers I’m always looking for are the ones that most people might deem ugly because they’re twisty or too much of a weird shape.” His current exhibition’s name is a reference to the mini studios Meehan created from discarded wooden wine crates. “I only use daylight, and the box was a good way of being able to manipulate the light because you can disassemble the sides or the top or paint it. It creates a very different, very soft light and the exposures can be very long,” he explains. Having just bought a “beat-up farmhouse” in Denmark with his wife, model Louise Pederson, Meehan is getting inspired by his neighbors’ fields of sunflowers, and now plans to find those perfectly imperfect specimens without the aid of florists.

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