Chasing Paradise, the first UK solo exhibition by David Drebin comprises large-scale photographic works created between 2011 and 2015. The exhibition will showcase a selection of landscapes alongside staged scenes incorporating femmes fatales with an unsettling sense of narrative. Underpinning the disparate selection of works in the exhibition is a pervasive suggestion of voyeurism combined with a veneer of glamour masking an unsettling reality.
The cities of New York, Los Angeles, Tokyo and Cannes are captured by Drebin in cinematic splendour. At dusk, dawn, in mist or under the veil of night, Drebin’s dramatic cityscapes are shot from a birds-eye perspective depicting the sheer scale of each location with a sense of expectation as to the mystery and intrigue contained within the city. In one cityscape, Girl in New York (2011), a lone female figure is spot lit on a distant rooftop, indicative of one of many possible narratives within the mass of the city.
In Ultimatum City (2012) a woman is positioned high above the backdrop of the nighttime city, her face obscured by both a mane of hair and the reflection of a window. She is part of the city but there is simultaneously the suggestion of isolation, emptiness and desperation in her gesture and imagined gaze. Ambiguity as to the narrative before and after the frame is also present in many of Drebin’s works in the exhibition, often coupled with tension, melancholy, humor and sex. In Beautiful Disasters (2012) (pictured below) figures are poised in a perilous altercation on a cliff top above an idyllic seascape; in Below the Surface, 2013 a woman is caught falling, unprepared to the bottom of a swimming pool, and in Big City Spy (2013) a woman whose face is again hidden, gazes through binoculars at the night time city.