Looking at Joshua Gordon's photographs can be pretty unsettling; you almost feels like you're intruding on something immensely private, like reading someone's diary. Raw, visceral, and strangely intimate, whether he's photographing prostitutes in Bangkok or his girlfriend in Berlin, each image reads like a pure personal snapshot from Joshua's life. Put them altogether, and you have his debut book, Diary Part I.
"I'm always looking for special people to work with, people who have a spark, who fall outside the societal norms we're all used to," explains the London-based, Dublin-born photographer. "That's the type of work I'm passionate about creating, strong photographs of unusual individuals, I'm constantly pushing myself to be in these situations, to be around these people." Totally self published, Diary Part I offers an unadulterated window into the weird and wonderful world of Joshua Gordon.
Tell us a bit about yourself and where you grew up?
I'm a photographer and filmmaker from Dublin, Ireland. I've been taking pictures since I was 12 or 13 but more seriously in the last three to four years. I grew up in north Dublin, near the city centre.
How did you get into photography?
I've always been obsessed with images and always felt a compulsion to document my life and my surroundings, which I can't explain. Growing up I always filmed everything, when we skateboarded or when we were doing graffiti, or when kids would fight, and when the house parties we were in got smashed up and robbed I'd be there with my shitty flip phone taking pictures to show the boys in school the following Monday. My mum was a photographer, she used to shoot Thin Lizzy and some fashion stuff when she was my age, she always pushed me to have a camera in my hand, so maybe that helped.
What is it about recording the world around you that appeals to you most?
I'm not sure, that's what I'm trying to figure out.
What do you want viewers to take away from your pictures?
Maybe they can feel some sort of emotion and relate to some situations in the images. Maybe it's a window into a world they were always curious about? I never think about the people who might look at the images whilst making them. I'm trying to tell a story with this book, I'm attempting to thread together a narrative, but it's a narrative for me, a selfish project I suppose, it just makes sense in my head, it's a nice way to put together the last few years of my life so I can just put it in a little box and put it away and focus on what's going to happen next.
What can we expect from Diary Part I?
It's a story of the last four years of my life, some people I've met and some of the people that are close to me, it's the beginning of what I want to do with photography, with art, it's rusty and there's mistakes and it's not perfect but it's a start and it's honest. I want to do a Diary Part 2 and 3 and 4 and do them for the rest of my life.
What are your hopes and dreams for the future?
I want to finish my film, that nobody will currently fund, and I want to make more films and more books and shoot more interesting people and marry my girlfriend. I want to make art and not worry about being broke and how expensive it is to live in London. I want to be free and I want to make powerful, beautiful, honest work that makes people feel how I feel when I listen to DJ Sprinkles or when I watch Streetwise. I want to love my girlfriend forever and I want to help my mum live comfortably and I want to hug my friends and I want to eat mangoes in the bath like my grandad used to, and I want to see the stars and I want to live and keep living and live forever and never be forgotten and never fade away.
Diary Part I is available here
Photography Joshua Gordon