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Internationally acclaimed artist and photographer Jonathan Ducrest returned home to his native Switzerland in 2021 after a 23-year stint in the U.S. - relocating from Los Angeles to Zurich.
Jonathan's earlier career behind the camera was inspired by the mountains, the vistas and dramatic scenes of Switzerland - moving to the States, he expanded his expertise and fascination, turning his lens instead to canyons and the architectural wonders of the metropolis. From the soaring Swiss Alps to the new towering icons from New York, his first base before moving west, to L.A.'s palms, beach life and distinct architecture. Ducrest's compositional skill, discerning eye, and cinematic sensibilities have made him one of the foremost practitioners of landscape, travel and urban photography working in the Los Angeles area.
Chatting over a glass of wine, Jonathan shares his tale and refound love with his 'Heimat'.
"Things happened rather quickly. It was the summer of 2020, and somehow Switzerland was enjoying a break from the pandemic. I had managed to escape Los Angeles and the rather dire situation there. Just like the latest tagline from Switzerland Tourism, I needed Switzerland! I had been travelling through the country for a few weeks, shooting for Transhelvetica Magazine and I was now finding myself floating in the crystal teal coloured waters of Lake Zürich. Enjoying the warmth of August while sipping on an Aperol spritz at Seebad Enge, it was at that moment that took the decision to leave 23 years of an American way of life behind and head back to the motherland. By the end of 2020, I was officially back. I had always loved visiting Zürich, though it was usually during the winter, when rösti, raclette or mulled wine are part of your daily diet. Come summertime, the city has a completely different personality. Everyone is riding their bicycle, the bathing clubs at Utoquai and Enge are hopping from morning to night, and on weekends friends gather for bbq by the lake in the city’s numerous parks It’s not surprising that Zurich is usually in the top three places in the world with the best quality of life. If you happen to be in town during the warm summer months, head over to the food hall at Globus or Jelmoli and grab some fine prepared food along with a chilled bottle of rosé and find a spot to relax, ideally by the lake or along the Limmat river. Just be careful, you too might find yourself wanting to move and settle here."
A self-taught artist, Ducrest's preferred camera is a Sony A7RIV, and for drone images, he utilizes a DJI Mavic 3. He manages all of the technical and editing processes requisite for contemporary digital photography.
Ducrest's work has been collected extensively by individuals, and major collectors, including Netflix. His photographs have been featured in many television productions—Disney-ABC, Warner Media and Apple. In 2020, he received a citation award for Petrol Station 2018, from the renowned American Institute of Architects, during the AIA/Architectural Photography Awards. In April 2020, his image Salerno Umbrellas was selected by Saatchi Art's Chief Curator for their "New This Week Collection" and in early 2021, Saatchi Art named him one of 21 artists to watch in 2021. In May 2022, he received two awards from the American Institute of Architechs Los Angeles for his images "Woman on a Bridge" and "Wrap de Triomphe". The Royal Academy of London selected his image "Out of Gas" for their summer exhibition on the theme of climate.