Jony Ive subject of new National Portrait Gallery commission

in General Discussion edited October 2019
The National Portrait Gallery in London unveiled its latest commission on Friday, revealing a portrait of Apple CDO Jony Ive as captured by famed photographer Andreas Gursky.

Source: The National Portrait Gallery

The second in a series of three commissions (PDF link) conducted in partnership with Outset Contemporary Art Fund (the first was Nobel Peace Prize recipient Malala Yousafzai), Ive's portrait was taken in the halls of Apple Park's main "spaceship" building. In the photo, Ive stands leaning against a pane of transparent glass, overlooking the inner courtyard of the structure he helped design.

"I have been obsessed with Andreas' work for a couple of decades and vividly remember the thrill of our first meeting seven years ago," Ive said. "His very particular and objective presentation of what he sees, whether voluminous landscapes or the rhythm and repetition of supermarket shelving is both beautiful and provocative. Mindful that he rarely makes portraits, this is a conspicuous and particular honor for me."

Gursky is known for large format photographs, often of landscapes or architecture that play on symmetry. Rarely does the human form find its way into a Gursky work, and the artist is almost adverse to portraiture. Ive's piece currently stands as the photographer's lone portrait commission taken for a public museum.

"It was fascinating to take photographs in the new Apple HQ, a place that plays such a historically crucial role in our present and future. And above all, it was inspiring to work with Jonathan Ive within this setting," Gursky said. "It was he who found the form for the technological revolution that was initiated by Apple and his aesthetic has left a mark on an entire generation. I admire his immense visionary power and have tried to express this energy in my portrait."

Ive joined Apple in 1992 after a brief consultancy period. Under the tutelage of late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, Ive took the reins of Apple's design team in 1996 and was ultimately named SVP of Design in 2013. The title reflected his dual roles as chief hardware and human interface designer.

Apple named the already legendary designer chief design officer in 2015, at which time he took a more hands-off role on day-to-day operations to focus on the completion of Apple Park. Once a staple of product design videos, Ive has faded from the spotlight over the past two years.

In June, Apple announced Ive will depart the company later this year to pursue a private venture with fellow industrial designer Marc Newson. Apple will be the first client of the pair's new firm, LoveFrom.


  • Reply 1 of 12
    irelandireland Posts: 17,798member
    It’s an odd one.
  • Reply 2 of 12
    cg27cg27 Posts: 212member
    At first glimpse Jony looks like a Fencer.

    I like the portrait, it has a surreal, illusory effect.
  • Reply 3 of 12
    Here is another one : 
    viclauyycyojimbo007mobirdapplephYvLyavon b7chasmCloudTalkinSpamSandwichdewme
  • Reply 4 of 12
    AppleExposedAppleExposed Posts: 1,805unconfirmed, member
    cg27 said:
    At first glimpse Jony looks like a Fencer.

    Looks like Schiller.
  • Reply 5 of 12
    yojimbo007yojimbo007 Posts: 1,165member
  • Reply 6 of 12
    An awkwardly forced pose. 
  • Reply 7 of 12
    Looking at low-res web reproductions is the equivalent of listening to a transistor radio and trying to judge the quality of the sound engineering. In this case, you can see the overall composition and that's about it.
  • Reply 8 of 12
    Steve didn’t return to Apple til late 1996. Not to take much away from the growing icon of Steve but Bob Brenner was Ives mentor and when Brunner left circa 1995 or 1996, Jonathon took over ID. I suspect Ives influenced Jobs as opposed to visa versus. Ives is a genius with or without Steve.
  • Reply 9 of 12
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 7,538member
    Ive had some good designs and some bad ones.

    I have always loved the curves on the backside of the CRT iMac but detest the ultra sharp points on laptop indents to lift the screen.

    He definitely wasn't a 'visionary'. I can't think of anyone who really fits that label. Jobs definitely wasn't.

    The photo in the article is nice but the pose looks awkward although I think Jony is only there for scale. LOL.

    He looks decidedly thinner than I last remember him but he could be holding the belly in for the shot.

    Sadly when people start speaking like this: "I admire his immense visionary power and have tried to express this energy in my portrait." I switch off and don't want to switch back on.

  • Reply 10 of 12
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,526member
    ^^^Talk about switching off. The guy with only one functioning brain hemisphere (the left) judges who is or is not a visionary. 
  • Reply 11 of 12
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 7,538member
    flaneur said:
    ^^^Talk about switching off. The guy with only one functioning brain hemisphere (the left) judges who is or is not a visionary. 
    I judge for me. Isn't that crystal clear from what I said:

    "He definitely wasn't a 'visionary'. I can't think of anyone who really fits that label. Jobs definitely wasn't."

    In my world visionaries don't really exist. People get lucky. They happen to be in the right place at the right time AND sometimes have success.

    Would Ive have been the same 'visonary' if he hadn't joined Apple and stayed there riding on the coat tails of the iMac? What if that product hadn't saved Apple? What if Apple had never entered the phone business? What if he had decided to leave 15 years earlier and simply wrote a book with his ideas for the future? Would he still be the same visionary?

    Probably not, because such a book would also be filled with things that never came to the fore or perhaps failed if they did.

    That's how it works and I have never come across anybody that truly and consistently did enough to warrant the label.

    Of course, the alternative is to consider everybody a 'visonary' because most people can take a stab at a whole host of things and probably get a lot of things right over time.

    I switch off when things get unnecessarily pompous. The phrase I quoted is an example of that.
  • Reply 12 of 12
    kimberlykimberly Posts: 427member
    hydrogen said:
    Here is another one : 
    Once I smoked a Danneman cigar
    Drove a foreign car
    Baby that was years ago
    I left it all behind for my
    Cheap wine and a three-day growth
Sign In or Register to comment.