Biography

 

uk

During the first years of my existance, at around 5 years of age, at the very top of a high staircase, I remember seeing a small black door adorned with a red light on one side. It was my grandfather’s dark room with a « DO NOT ENTER » sign on the door.
My first photo story began when I was 9 in Milan, Italy with a Kodak Brownie and photos stolen from my father’s Peugeot 403.
My second camera was a Ferrania 6×6 sort of resembling the Rolleiflex but not in quality .. I took holiday snaps to fill the family albums.
When I turned 16, along with some friends, I decided to make a 8 mm film about the village where we lived. This first film was shown and appreciated at the village hall. At this time, I became close friends with one of the guys from the gang: Michel D, whose parents ran a newsagent’s. His father was a photographer and had a huge laboratory at the top of the shop. It was there that Michel’s father, Marcel D, taught me about developing and shooting. At the same time I began my life as a photographer taking pictures of weddings, communions and ceremonies.

Then the dreaded question came from my parents: “what are you going to do with your life?” My friend Michel was asked the same question. I was more or less keen on studying law but with no real convictions. Things suddenly clicked when I read an edition of “Beaux Arts” dedicated to Blow-up.

Lacking a little in confidence, I needed an accomplice. It was Michel and we went off to a school in Switzerland to study photography for two years of total happiness and freedom. We managed to become two mediocre photographers from the swinging sixties. The school had more or less prepared us but had reinforced my idea of becoming a photographer.

In 1968 I began my first work experience in studios in Villeurbanne taking industrial and aerial photos for a few months.

At the age of 20 the call to serve under the flag gave me the opportunity to meet the right people who would be very important for the rest of my career.
After two years of military service I went to live in Paris and became an assistant for an advertising studio in the Rue Daguerre.
I wanted to learn about other areas of photography and I took the job as an assistant working on the sets at Studio 44. International photographers who were passing through Paris to produce their advertisements or magazine reports rented these sets.
From that moment I met a lot of photographers who all expanded my horizons in their own way: Claude Guillaumin, Alex Chatelin, Patrick de Marchellier, Helmut Newton, Guy Bourdin, Jacques Olivard, etc…Thanks to their mastery of composition and use of light I was able to practise fashion photography at a very high level. Each with their own style, they taught me a lot through their rigour, demanding nature and creativity.

I spent 4 years living a culturally rich and intense Parisian life. I saw the first Ralph Gibson exhibition at Agathe Gaillard’s. I met Robert Delpire at the « galerie de l’abbaye » whilst he was exhibiting.

I came back to Lyon in 1976 and set up my first studio for fashion and publicity shots. I had a lot of work and a big set for shooting. At the same time I started a piece of work on masks called « Disfigurement » and I also managed a troupe of puppeteers.
In 1981 thanks to luck and opportunity, I was able to exhibit « Disfigurement » at the school in Arles in the Michel Tounier room. In Arles I met Agnés Varda, Willy Ronis and Raymond Depardon. These encounters convinced me to continue my search for perfection. Some of the photographers I assisted have become famous and have set very high standards for me.

Even today I have some series of portfolios that I am not really satisfied with.

I worked with a theatre group “Images Aigues” who essentially used image in their work. I worked in close collaboration with the Director Christiane Véricel. Along with other artists, we organised exhibitions in industrial contexts and in different places such as art centres and galleries. I obtained an order for exhibition work in the centre du Parvis in Tarbes. I stayed there for a month to work and I came back to show my exhibition. This exhibition was as much plastic art as photography. Certain pieces were displayed in the Boutographies in Montpellier.

At thirty-eight years old I was married and had started a family. At this time the exhibition work did not pay enough so I started to teach photography in a school of graphics. This lead me to create a photography school where I taught shooting and the history of photography. At forty-nine years of age I set up an advertising studio again with my former assistant. The premises were very big and I shared them with two artists; Pierre Masbanaji and Danielle Stephane.
In 2000 I separated from my assistant rather quickly and continued alone for 9 years. I stopped the studio to work with one of my clients EM2C and then things suddenly fell into place and I finally found what I wanted to express in my photography. I created a series of black and white images, architectural moments. I exhibited this first series called “Angle de vue” at the L’Oeil Ecoute gallery in 2013. This series was followed by three others entitled “Apparence 1,2 and 3”. Recently I have started a series in colour. I have now found what I had been preparing myself for all these years.