A couple years ago, I found myself questioning the inevitable death of mainstream photography, and how its corpse was delivered to us. I could no longer bear the flatness of bodies crushed by the foot of the fashion industry and the Instagram slaves who follow it. It is fair to note that I never had much love for the medium in the first place, but it became my refuge for so many years that I can’t deny how affected I’ve been by its dying state.
Photographers like Jean-Paul Goude opened a breach between the world of photography and the visual possibilities of fine art via a clever use of collage, paintings and the early ages of Photoshop. Although it was, again, at the service of a futile world, it did leave a great impression on me.
The day I found out that he « augmented » Grace Jones’ features for « Island Life », I was fucking blown away… « Augmented » became my new obsession. Not as a fancy trick but as a way to reconnect with the very genre of photography I crave for, and craved for almost all my life: photojournalism. And more specifically, its real relationship to the human body. The impact of one Nachtwey, or one McCullin is absolutely undeniable, because we know the very nature of the devastating beauty they capture. The necessary violence of the flesh for the world to care. If I could come close enough and be able to merge fine art photography and this realism, I could say what my burning heart desires, without any bounds whatsoever.
The photo piecing consists of a progressive bank of specific photographs which will later compose a photorealistic augmentation of a concept using Adobe Photoshop. I faced two big challenges: for the technique to work out, it has to produce a photorealistic render (or hyperrealistic for some concepts). And for it to still be called photography, all the augmentation had to be made only with photographic elements, or pieces, shot by me. The idea is to confront the relationship with the plausible physical world that we come across everyday, not as an artifice, but as social and political statements, where symbolism is rightfully killed by realism.