French Photographer | Born: 1958
Born in Angers, llves in Cairo.
With his renown delicacy, Denis Dailleux’s photography appears calm yet incredibly demanding. It is traced with permanent doubts and coloured by the vital personal relationship he maintains with those he frames within his camera.
His passion for people has encouraged him to take up portraiture as his preferred means of representing those with whom he would like to become close. He used this method with actress Catherine Deneuve as well as countless anonymous subjects from the slums of Cairo. He works with the same discretion he expects from others, without complaint, and hoping that all will go as planned. Patiently, he has constructed a unique portrait of his beloved Cairo to create, between the black and whites of exemplary classicism and the colours of a rare subtlety, an absolute alternative to all the cultural and touristic clichés that clutter our thoughts.
About Egypt, Mother and Son: World Press Photo 2014
Tenderness. Denis Dailleux, who has been living in Cairo for 9 years, never stops to show the generosity of the Egyptian people he fell in love with fifty years ago. No doubt the series "Mother and son" is his most personal work. With great reserve and refinement, he leads us into the privacy of these families, where the absolute love of the muscular son echos like an ode to their mothers. An ode universally moving. Text by Delphine Henry
Between Denis Dailleux and Cairo, it is a true love story : on one side, an insatiable fascination for this unique place, its mood, its magical lights and an unspeakable tenderess towards its inhabitants ; on the other, a natural generosity, a city which offers itself to this subjugated look, inhabitants full of spontaneous kindness. Denis Dailleux makes regular trips to Cairo, in an obsessive way.
I first discovered Ghana when I came across Paul Strand’s beautiful book dedicated to this country. It left an incredible impression upon me and that day I promised myself that one day I would go and photograph Ghana. After my book Fils de roi - a work entirely dedicated to Egypt - was published by Gallimard Editions, I felt that it was time for me to renew my source of inspiration. Starting with fresh landscapes and new ways of being, I decided to explore Sub Saharan Africa. My first encountered was in Accra, with the community of Jamestown’s fishermen. I was struck by these scenes which reminded me of old oil paintings. The lights along the ocean dazzled and transformed the men into silhouettes. After experiencing the prudishness of Egypt, I loved the beauty and the freedom of the Ghanaian bodies. For a photographer, these bodies are a gift. Further to meeting Joseph, I visited his village in the Ashanti region. However, Ghana is not a country so easily tamed, and I had to go there and return many times. And during my last trip, I found that my stubbornness paid off. It was then that I discovered a village at the foot of Lake Volta where I encountered the most beautiful people. It was there that I took possibly my finest portraits of a village idiot, of the children, and once again, of a group of fishermen. I love this feeling of perpetual discovery that reminds me of childhood. I try to live within this eternal and renewable state of constant re-birth.
About My aunt Juliette:
In the village of his childhood was leaving an old woman, a true character : Denis Dailleux's great-aunt. Between the old lady and the young man, a unique complicity established a funny but solemn game, something close to fight and challenge.