Following a directive he wrote in his notebook five years ago Photograph the hometowns of your heroes, John MacLean has travelled to twenty-five towns and cities around the world, conducting a layered investigation into the childhood environments of those artists whose work has influenced his own, including Wassily Kandinsky, James Turrell, Rachel Whiteread, William Eggleston, Gabriel Orozco, Robert Frank, Lee Miller and Bridget Riley. Hometowns, a sixty-five image photo-homage, traces the origins of each artist, invoking the formative influence of place on their later photographs, paintings and sculptures. MacLean’s reflexive approach acknowledges the ‘anxiety of influence’, unravelling the strands that connect his own practice with his artistic heroes, while addressing his subjective responses and the development of a singular and inventive visual language. (By Hannah Hughes)
Although born in Buckinghamshire, England, John MacLean spent a significant part of his childhood in Canada and the United States. He began using a camera at the age of fourteen when he discovered the book American Images, featuring the work of Lee Friedlander, Lewis Baltz and John Gossage. He subsequently worked at The Royal College of Art for four years. John has been a London-based, independent photographer since 1998. His first solo show was Two and Two at Flowers Gallery in 2010. His work has been published in Camera Austria, European Photography, American Suburb X, The British Journal of Photography, Source, Photoworks, Yet Magazine, 1000 Words, and Elephant. John has published nine photobooks. Hometowns was nominated for Deutsche Borse Photography prize 2018.