Over the past decade it would be impossible to unpick the seams of Simon’s professional experience shooting car culture from his own lifestyle, driving first a custom 1961 pick-up and now a 1964 Ford coupe. Living the life creates a deeper understanding of what you’re looking at, what the cars are going to do and what the people driving them are thinking. That’s when being in the right place shifts from pure chance to something far more calculated. Instead of waiting on the sidelines, you can anticipate the action and be ready because moments are over in much less than the blink of an eye.
With his Burnout series he recognises beauty where it’s not immediately obvious. He finds expression in a car spinning its rear wheels with the single purpose of destruction. His images are superbly composed contemplations of the moment. Slices in time that hold the gaze with car, driver and movement balanced in an ideal expression of a sublime modernity.
His images of the Bonneville Salt Flats extend the vision, with the white saltpan acting as a stage of the infinite in which the inter-relation of speed, time and space are measured in absolutes. There is, quite literally, nothing there to disturb the pure expression of speed other than the salt on which they drive. This milky immensity becomes a blank canvas against which the carefully considered drama of petrol and steel is determined by the mechanics wrench and the steady pressure of foot on accelerator. Simon’s photographs detail the mood of refined power. It’s a celebration of speed that is nuanced by knowledge of culture and history that gives these images their incredible resonance.