PHOTOGRAPHY l :
Glasgow-born photographer David Eustace has a portfolio that spans 3 movie stars, supermodels and the
war—torn landscape of Beruit. Ann
Donald is impressed.
Photographer David Eustace talks at Concorde speed: nearly two sides of tape are ﬁlled over one doll's cup-sized espresso. Colourful adjectives pepper the SOO-word-per-minute ﬂow as he fires away on both cylinders, ricocheting from one tangent to another until we come full circle and there's a brief lull in the conversation for an intake of breath and coffee. However. the charismatic 34-year-old Glaswegian is not only verbally but visually endowed. as his advertising. fashion and portrait spreads in upmarket glossies like (IQ. Vogue. [file and 'Iittler testify. I
With legs stretched out in his ‘office' — Glasgow bar; The Lounge. whose walls coincidentally bear the fruit of his forays in advertising with framed photographs of the rough and ready ads for Tom Moore whiskey and Bacardi — we ﬂick through the former Napier University graduate‘s personal i portfolio. Bold colourful shots ofthe rumbustious Robbie Coltrane and a moody (perhaps prophetic?) black-and-white shot of Hugh Grant with head in hands are accompanied by atmospheric and no- nonsensc close ups — we’re talking magnified volcanic pores — of other A-list celebs including a bare-chested Willem Dafoe. Ralph Fiennes and Johnny Rotten.
Though Eustace conforms to the garrulous Glaswegian image and calls you ‘pal' within minutes, there's still the distinct feeling that underneath that blue bandana covering his long hair. there's an invisible tattoo that reads in big bold letters ‘No Bullshit‘: a no-nonsense attitude that could be attributed to his previous work experience in the minesweeper squadron of the Royal Navy and his post as a prison officer at Barlinnie.
Since resigning from Barlinnie at the age of 27 and deciding to pursue his burgeoning interest in photography past the camera club stage. Eustace ‘sweated my balls off' in the darkrooms of Napier
‘Me Looking Like a Prlck with Jack ore: enough said?
i l . l
In your face: David Eustace’s powerful portrait of actor Brian Cox
University getting to grips with the technical side of photography of which he knew ‘jackshit‘. It was also there that he honed down a non-parochial. deeply commited and professional attitude to his work that was to culture his present success.
‘By the second week of the course. people were asking, “What do you want to do afterwards?". I always knew that the day I left college would be the day that I’d go straight into working for Vogue, [fl/e and Harper‘s. You’ve got to think like that.‘ he reasons, ‘otherwise there's no point in giving up three years of your life and a drop in £26,000 in your linances.’
By second year. the man with attitude. a wife and a daughter was receiving positive noises from the glossies' art directors after a handful of reconnaissance missions south with rucksack and portfolio in tow, and hardened knuckles from rapping on their doors. Post-graduation. he assisted top-flight snapper and fellow Scot Albert Watson where ‘I learnt more in a week than three years at Napier'. By the next year. he'd got his first commission with GQ
capturing Japanese theatre director Yukio Ninagawa.
These days, he's still zipping and ducking all over the world for a healthy mix ofglossies and newspaper spreads. but there is a photographic book also on the horizon. Titled Beruit And Beyond. it is a mix. says Eustace. of portraits, off-kilter close-ups and landscape shots that are the result of four trips to the war-tom Lebanon.
‘1 was blown away by it. In a sick kind of way. the blitzcd city was visually exciting to photograph. But.‘ he asserts. ‘I tried to look a bit deeper than that. and so I discovered a far greater positive force in the people. and began making portraits of the people I met in Beruit and surrounding areas.‘ Scheduled for publication in 1996 by Phaidon. it should ensure the ascension of the professional name and reputation of Eustace that bit nearer the top-ﬂight league ofhis former ‘teacher' Albert Watson.
David Eustace is exhibiting with eleven other photography gruduutesfnmr Napier University at the KJI’ Gallery. Mare/mum! Road. Edinburgh until [5 Dee.
The List l-l4 Dec I995 51