Spotlight: Photographer David Yarrow’s Striking Photographs Conjure the Gritty London of ‘Oliver Twist’ and ‘Peaky Blinders’

"Storytelling" is on view at Maddox Gallery's new Mayfair space through November 26, 2023.

David Yarrow, London Town (2023). Courtesy of Maddox Gallery.

Every month, hundreds of galleries add newly available works by thousands of artists to the Artnet Gallery Network—and every week, we shine a spotlight on one artist or exhibition you should know. Check out what we have in store, and inquire for more with one simple click.

What You Need to Know: Last month, London-based Maddox Gallery debuted a new flagship space at 12 Berkeley Street in the city’s Mayfair neighborhood—the gallery’s largest and most well-appointed location to date. The inaugural exhibition, “David Yarrow: Storytelling,” a solo show of the British artist’s recent photographic work, spanning the entirety of three floors in the airy new gallery space, and is on view through November 26, 2023. A highlight of “Storytelling” are three new works shot this past September, drawing inspiration from cultural touchstones like Oliver Twist and Peaky Blinders, with the images acting as an homage to the storied history and culture of London over the decades. Visitors to the show will also be met with a wide range of works focusing on the natural world, illustrating Yarrow’s keen ability to capture the drama and grandeur of wildlife from around the world in their native habitats. “After three months on the road, it is good to be back home in London this week” Yarrow said. “But what makes it very special is to be the artist launching Maddox’s new flagship gallery in the heart of Mayfair. I am flattered to be involved, and it is a big moment in both our journeys.”

Exterior of Maddox Gallery’s new location at 12 Berkeley Street, Mayfair, London. Courtesy of Maddox Gallery.

About the Artist: Fine art photographer David Yarrow (b. 1966) is internationally recognized for both his images of famous people—ranging from sport stars to supermodels—and wildlife, as well as natural landscapes, and indigenous communities. At just age 20, he was named the Young Scottish Photographer of the Year while still enrolled at Edinburgh University, the same year he took the iconic image of Diego Maradona holding the World Cup trophy in Mexico. Though he spent nearly a decade working as an institutional stockbroker following his graduation in 1987, he ultimately returned to photography. Based in London, Yarrow frequently travels to far flung locations, from the Mustang Monument Ranch in Nevada to the Dinokeng Game Reserve in South Africa, to capture some of the world’s most elusive animals and landscapes. Yarrow is involved with numerous charities and conservation trusts, highlighting the photographer’s deep commitment to the world he photographs.

Installation view of “David Yarrow: Storytelling” (2023). Courtesy of Maddox Gallery.

Why We Like It: As the title of the exhibition shares, Yarrow has a singular ability to story tell through a single image. Though sometimes working in color, his black-and-white photographs allude to grander narratives outside the frame in myriad ways through subject and composition. In his recent works featuring English model Cara Delevingne, the image could be mistaken for a film still, with the incorporation of background actors and meticulous sets conveying the sense of time, place, and event. Similarly, though perhaps a bit more obliquely, Yarrow’s images of wildlife such as lions allude to the importance and ongoing preservation needed of natural environments and habitats. And in Wall Street (2023), the work simultaneously conjures the film Wolf of Wall Street as well as refers to the artist’s own personal story, working for years in the financial sector before turning to photography.

See featured works below:

David Yarrow, Wall Street (2023). Courtesy of Maddox Gallery.

David Yarrow, An Englishman in New York (2023). Courtesy of Maddox Gallery.

David Yarrow, London Town (2023). Courtesy of Maddox Gallery.

David Yarrow, By Order of the Peaky Blinders (2023). Courtesy of Maddox Gallery.

David Yarrow, Pretty Woman (2023). Courtesy of Maddox Gallery.

David Yarrow: Storytelling” is on view at Maddox Gallery, 12 Berkeley Street, London, through November 26, 2023.

Follow Artnet News on Facebook:

Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.