When it Comes to Photos, Lord Charles March Takes the Slow Lane
Lord Charles March loves speed. After assuming control of his family seat, the 12,000-acre estate Goodwood, March established two of England’s most exciting motor racing affairs, the Festival of Speed and the Revival (writing for this magazine, A.A. Gill deemed it “NASCAR meets Downton Abbey”). Before that, he was a pacesetter in the fast-paced advertising world, snapping campaigns for brands like De Beers, Laura Ashley, and Levi’s.
And then there is his fine-art photography. After a first show in 2012, March is now displaying a new series, called “Wood Land,” of his impressionistic, evocative pictures, in which he shimmies his exposures to blur the landscapes of Goodwood as if painted with a brush or viewed while traveling at 90 miles per hour or so.
“It’s rather like you’ve just driven past it and you blinked and you’ve got an impression of it, and then it’s gone,” the artist said at the show’s opening at Adam Lindemann’s Venus Over Manhattan on Wednesday night. “Rather than the place being anywhere recognizable, you don’t know where any of these are or what they are, but I hope that you get a strong feeling of what it was like to be there.”
March’s opening at the Upper East Side gallery made for a crowd of delightfully unexpected pairings. __Princess Eugenie of York__held forth among Richard Meier, Lisa and Richard Perry, Zani Gugelmann, and a slew of fellow royals, while Wendi Deng—looking art-world swish in a red peplum sweater—stood feet from the Brooklyn artist Dustin Yellin(who, in an increasingly rare occurrence, was fully clothed)
March gave warm hellos to just about everyone, moving around the gallery in high spirits like it was his dance floor. His photography method is another kind of dance: he makes fluid movements with his camera during exposure to create a moody, abstracted quality.
“It looks very odd: my children hate me, hate watching me,” he explained. “We’re on holiday and I’m trying to take pictures, they hate it. Because I’m always ages behind them.”
“Most of these are quite stable, actually, but sometimes it’s quite a violent movement,” he added.
The result is at once very modernist and suggestive of early daguerreotypes, where the subject was often inevitably blurry from attempting in vain not to move for 10 minutes. Due to the rigors required of the technique, March isn’t eager to photograph things already in motion, however passionate he may be about cars.
“I’ve done the odd horse and car and things—motorbikes—and it’s all right,” he said. “But it’s better in a natural environment. It doesn’t work so well with man-made things.”
And with that, he was whisked four blocks north to a celebratory dinner at Crown.