MATIERES ET SENTIMENTS
Paris - BHV Observatory
June 21 to August 25, 2012
This exhibition was guided by Vincent's friend, Auguste Chantrel, who taught him to divert his
eye from architecture "frozen" in Paris to catching a glance of the
ephemeral and the immutable. His photographs will transform the
observatory rotunda where images will appear as fragments of memory.
What does photography mean to you?
Testimony, infinity and also a fixed time; therefore, a
contradiction. It allows me to live as a little fellow artist...
I need to express myself in another way. The photograph is
expressive of the frustrated painter in me. It makes the heart
beat. I've always been in love with photography. I love the
photography of another era which reflects a time. I am
fascinated by old photos.
Is there a photographer in particular who
Many! Irving Penn is my absolute master because he managed
to go into fashion, and yet in fine art photography. I love
Richard Avedon, Henri Cartier-Bresson, witnesses of their time.
There are so many great photographers. I love the portrait. I
had the chance to meet Newton, and through my work, I was able
to address some photographers like Patrick Zachmann, a Magnum
photographer, who came onto the set of a Russian film. Bruce
Weber is another.
Why photography as you approach 50? Is this a midlife crisis
or a sign of maturity?
This is perhaps the midlife crisis! (laughter) No, I
think it's maturity, the decision in my life to devote time to
this little artist in me. Also it was time to put my photos in
some order. I have taken pictures for a long time, and each time
I saw them, it made me sick at heart that I did nothing with
them. It took me almost a year to put them into order.
Usually I do portraits. My desire isn't to take pictures for
magazines. I need to be free and, therefore, what interests me
is to make proposals. My first show was in Russia last year as
far as possible, because I was a little afraid to show my photos
in Paris. In a museum, I exposed some sixty portraits of artists
in black and white.
Then I was offered this place, the BHV Observatory, for a new
exhibition. My first idea was to make a "Paris vu par" but this
topic was a little scary... I wanted to follow in the footsteps
of those great masters of photography. Then I spoke with Auguste
Chantrel, an architecture student. I asked him to give me a
hand, to identify the theme a little better that wanted to use
With some architectural elements that I photographed,
one wonders what they are today, but they release something, an
emotion that touches me deeply. I came into "accidental art", a
little world in the streets of Paris, which moved me deeply...
Some of my images are closer to a painting. I grew up wanting to
become a painter, so perhaps it's the painter in me that dreamed
to speak! I also play with textures, the idea of relief. I'd
like to experience this in other cities - New York, for example.
I have found it fun to move toward the abstract. I love playing
with prospects, with light colors. Through this, I discovered
the digital world, which made me want to go in that direction.
For this exhibition, did you use digital or film?
Digital, the 6x6. I love the loins, the polarity. I love the
silver. Most of my appliances are silver. For
these pictures, I had to rent
The name of your show is "Material and Sentiments". Could
this be the title of a film?
An art film then!
If you had to choose between being an actor or photographer,
what would you choose?
Today, I cannot choose. It's as if
you asked me if I'm German or Spanish. The two complement each
other, as the job of director helps me
do the scene with my images. I cannot be an actor without being
a director. Today, photography is enmeshed in directing. There
is the still image, but there is even a look staged in the eye.
My director's eye plays on my photographer's eye, and vice
versa. It really is the staging in a
large exhibition project. With my first movie, I framed it
virtually from beginning to end.
What is your favorite photograph and why?
(The one featured below) There
really is a sense of relief, and how the cohabitation between
the stone and the plant is made and how these two elements
support each other and live together. It's very interesting.
There is something that really speaks to me. Also in the texture
of this picture... The paint... It's almost alive.