Karl Doyle’s unique vision and affinity for diverse cultures is rooted in an early fascination with nomadic gypsies in his birthplace of Ireland – a group whose individuality and exotic visual appeal serve as one of the artist’s earliest and most profound memories.
After studying photography in Dublin, Karl relocated to London where he honed his creative and technical skills working with a broad range of visual artists and traveled to locations all over the globe. Curiosity brought Karl to Asia, where he discovered the Mongolian Nomads, ethereal characters who would comprise the first part of the Nomadic Worlds series.
Karl moved to New York in 1994 and was later fortunate to work on several advertising campaign projects with fashion visionary Thierry Mugler. In tandem with his own growing career, Karl’s distinct photographic style began to emerge in his own personal projects, drawing on his own talent, technical skills, and exposure to world cultures and fashion.
Nomadic Worlds & Harajuku Girls
Nomadic Worlds Series captures a rare authenticity that gives the viewer extraordinary access to these unusual worlds. Central to the work in the relationship between the subjects and their costumes, whether dictated by environmental and cultural factors or purely for the sake of a fashion statement as in being consciously “different.” The treatment of this relationship in the work draws attention to the fantasy in costume and magnifies the individuality of its characters, creating a timeless fairytale quality in the narrative where the subjects come complete with their implied tales. The narrative is further reinforced through separating the subjects from their environments, the use of meticulous lighting that has become the hallmark of the artist’s work, and his creative hand-printing process.
In the haunting faces of the Mongolian Nomads, and the Harajuku Girls of Tokyo and New York’s stylized sub-cultures, these nomadic worlds collide distinctively in outward appearances but share a timeless voice in the expression of each unique environment.
Inspired by old images from the German “Weimar ” era, during the 1920s & 1930s, when a whole theatre of visual delights was evolving in Berlin`s sophisticated art scene. Cabaret clubs, dance halls, Marlene Dietrich, Lilian Harvey, all of which helped create an atmosphere for the photo series.
Shot on large format and paying particular attention to contrast in all the elements, the images draw the viewer to the storyline and humour. The subjects brought their own special details from professional tight lacers to private vintage collections.
Postcards from Kyoto
A series that captures a slice of modern day life in Japan`s old capital of Kyoto. The images were created in the area of Kyoto known as “Gion”, the home of the Geiko and Maiko san. These age old performers have had a long history of survival with many twists and turns over the past century. This district is an established labyrinth of old wooden tea houses “Ochaya” where the artisans literally seem to glide over the ground below as they rush from one location to another. A true example of where old traditions have stood up to the age of time.
Tryptic series is a contemporary play of light, time and sculpture. Inspired from the Archaic Greek period 600BC, in contrast of sculpting the male nude resembling Apollo or Heracles, the project was an exploration of introducing the female form symbolising the mother of life and challenging the admiration for the traditional male figure. The shrouded form resembles the stone surface and empty space as the passing of time and history. The separation of squares represent old Greek monuments.
* Beauty / Fashion works have appeared in many international magazines.