Wednesday 26 April 2017

Dubliners...pictured through the lens of Conor Horgan

As one of Ireland's leading fashion and portrait photographers, Conor Horgan has chronicled a whole era of Dubliners, Dublin life and visitors to Dublin. As an exhibition of his previously unseen work goes on display, he shares some of his favourite pictures of some of the city's natives, some who made their home there, and some who were just paying a visit

Jean Butler. Photo by Conor Horgan.
Jean Butler. Photo by Conor Horgan.
Paul McGuinness. Photo by Conor Horgan.
photo by conor Horgan
Ali Dunne. Photo by Conor Horgan.
Christy Moore. Photo by Conor Horgan.
Gavin Friday. Photo by Conor Horgan.
Lainey Keogh. Photo by Conor Horgan.
Tony O'Reilly. Photo by Conor Horgan.
Mary Robinson. Photo by Conor Horgan.
Mary Harney. Photo by Conor Horgan.
Morrissey. Photo by Conor Horgan.
Radiators from Space. Photo by Conor Horgan.

As one of Ireland's leading fashion and portrait photographers, Conor Horgan has chronicled a whole era of Dubliners, Dublin life and visitors to Dublin. As an exhibition of his previously unseen work goes on display, he shares some of his favourite pictures of some of the city's natives, some who made their home there, and some who were just paying a visit

'Dublin Unpublished - Photographs by Conor Horgan' opens at The Little Museum of Dublin on November 27, 2014 and runs until January 4, 2015

Mary Robinson, politician

The recently deceased and much loved [copywriter] Catherine Donnelly asked me to take the photos of Mary for her 1990 election campaign. For someone who was not really at ease in front of the camera, Mary was clearly a very genuine and sincere person. I didn’t charge for the shoot — we were all ‘working for the cause’, and I don’t think that anyone involved at the time, including Mary herself, expected that she would be elected president

Jean Butler, dancer

This was a shoot for Reds Hair Salon — it was the first time I met Jean. An amazingly vivacious character, we had great fun on these shoots

Ali Dunne, model

Of all the Irish models I photographed, Ali was by far the most distinctive beauty and spirit. With her it felt like working with a great actor, a  movie star

Morrissey

Tony Clayton-Lea did a profile of Morrissey for ‘In Dublin’ magazine, and this was taken backstage at the National Stadium. I brought a black backdrop, lights, the works —halfway through the shoot, the whole lot collapsed on Mozzer. From beneath the black cloth I heard that distinct Mancunian drawl: ‘I’ll just let you know I have some very good lawyers’

Paul McGuinness, businessman

A shot for ‘GQ’. I simply had to bring a piece of hardened wood for the manager, in  homage to ‘Spinal Tap’. I’m surprised that I managed to get him to pose with it —  but I imagine that Paul would approve of this one!

Couple kissing, South Wall

I was photographing two young Brazilian men in one of many people’s favourite parts of the city, hoping they wouldn’t notice me, and they asked me to take  a picture of them. This is what happened. I didn’t realise they were a couple. It’s one of my favourite images

Christy Moore, musician

I’ve photographed Christy a number of times, and like a lot of performers, he doesn’t particularly like having his photo taken. In this shoot it seemed he started to warm to me. I always thought he was a lovely man, great-looking and very photogenic

Tony O’Reilly

Tony’s people hired me to do a glossy shot of him for an annual report. They produced a grainy shot of him laughing that they liked, but wanted a colour version of something similar. I pulled every trick in the book to get him to laugh, with no success. With Tony, it was impossible. All I could get was a tiny upturn at the side of his mouth. After he’d left, his PA mentioned in passing that the photographer on the original shoot had got his assistant to crouch behind Tony and tickle him to get the laugh. I’ll know what to do next  time

Gavin Friday, musician

I was a big fan of the Virgin Prunes and the 80s’ Dublin scene — this was for an article in ‘GQ’ which was never used. Gavin arrived with a reversed-out slide of work by illustrator George Grosz, which we projected on to him. Subsequently I did some more work for Gavin, including the image for the last Virgin Prunes record, ‘The Moon Looked Down and Laughed’

Lainey Keogh, fashion designer

Lainey booked me for my first fashion shoot when I was still an assistant. She was tempestuous, and we didn’t always agree on the best approach to shooting her clothes, but we kept coming back to work together. These are my favourite images of her — the shoot was commissioned by ‘Vogue’ UK

The Radiators from Space

Of all the Dublin bands I photographed, this shoot meant the most to me. They had reformed for the day to do these pictures and record a new single for the reissue of the ‘Ghostown’ album cover, which included a new and important song by Philip Chevron, Under Clery’s Clock

Jonathan Philbin-Bowman, journalist

A shot for ‘GQ’. It’s an attempt at a visual pun, seeing him as a kind of sun god. This is an uncharacteristic shot of Jonathan — very contemplative, a side of himself he rarely showed to camera. He loved having his picture taken, and was always so full of energy, always on

‘Dublin Unpublished — Photographs by Conor Horgan’ opens at The Little Museum of Dublin on November 27, 2014 and runs until January 4, 2015

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