Ian Phillips McLaren is a British artist, born and brought up in Glasgow, Scotland  (b.1960).

In 1985, he began his journey into photography by buying a second-hand camera and enrolling in a photography course. His professional journey started as he became a member of the Glasgow artists’ cooperative, WASPS, sharing a large studio space at the iconic Wills Tobacco Factory on the Alexandra Parade.

In 1989 he was the subject of a BBC TV film ’A style of one’s own’. Soon afterward, he became Artist in Residence at the Glasgow School of Art, where he taught photography and darkroom techniques to fine art students. In 1990 he exhibited his art and life in Glasgow as part of the City of Culture. In the early 1990’s McLaren produced his first album cover, followed by a series of portraits for American Vogue.

In 1992 he moved to London and became known for his portraiture, capturing artists and celebrities like the Spice Girls, Justin Timberlake, Billy Connolly, Lee Evans, Orlando Bloom and many others.

McLaren has been nominated four times and received an honourable mention in the International Photography Awards.

In the Mist’ 2016, marked the beginning of new work, in Hatfield Forest followed by still life studies. Working and experimenting with alternative print processes, Ian spent seven months refining the gum bichromates to form the grid of Gwen ‘Did I Want To Be Here?’

Ian Phillips McLaren with effigies
After over 30 years as a commercial photographer, McLaren shifted his focus to personal work. Motivated by a need for self-knowledge, he pursued an MA Fine Art degree at Cambridge School of Art, exploring themes such as self, personal identity, portraiture, self-representation and perception through a Jungian lens.

McLaren’s interest in Jungian theories is driven by the belief that they can enhance his understanding of the ‘self’ and add depth and authenticity to his work as an artist. During his time at Cambridge School of Art, he experimented with various fine art disciplines, such as sculpture, sound, performance, and multi-media, aiming to develop his work into dynamic installations beyond the limitations of traditional gallery walls.

McLaren’s client portfolio includes EMI, Polydor, Pixi Make-up, Topshop, BBC, Bank of New York, Barclays Bank, Slaughter & May, Vidal Sassoon, M&S and magazines GQ, Arena, Sunday Times Magazine, Smash hits, Top of the Pops and Q Magazine. He has been featured in several media interviews including Kirsty Young’s programme for BBC 5 live.

MA Fine Art, Cambridge School of Art, ARU University, Cambridge.

Some of my recent gum bichromate prints below.