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Thomas Devaux
Thomas Devaux
Thomas Devaux

Thomas Devaux

Country: France
Birth: 1980

Thomas Devaux has authored several complex and ambitious series. In each of them one can find a subtle but strong game of jousting played out between his core values and the evolutions brought about by modern technology. The inflammatory value behind the photography is not so innate. It is more a direct effort meant to mirror a fragment of a future re-composition.
The works in the "ATTRITION" series were selected according to their composition and their figurative will. This is a double articulation between what is borrowed and that which is a reinterpretation on one hand and an axe in art history on the other hand. "ATTRITION", thanks to the expanded possibilities of digital techniques of which I have become very experienced, shows a n affluence of forms and materials such as an organic proliferation of hair, of body parts, etc. The portrait becomes a division of a face created by itself or vanishes in its own contour. The development material, though shadowy and opaque, is light and see-through. It raises the texture of the paper which allows for an automatic refinement of the forms and pigments.
The final result is both sensual and onirique in the in the very image of the models that Devaux photographs in the backstages of fashion shows. They allow him to grasp the pictorial qualities which remain anchored in this field of photography. His surface does not rely upon the thickness of painting materials but rather on an artificial yet original vocabulary which is personal and photographic."

Source: Anne Biroleau-Lemagny, General Curator Charge of Contemporary 21st Century: French National Library



Born in 1980. Lives and works in Paris.
Thomas Devaux moved frequently when he was young and he never stopped being "in motion". He moved to London after graduating from high school, and then he started his studies in Montpellier, while exploring the image in all its forms: photography, experimental cinema, painting and collage...
He achieved through this artistic extension to remove the boundary between drawing and photography. Finally, he obtained diploma of Licence in Performing Art in Paris (Paris X). Developing great interest in traveling and exploring the world, he found his place in 2006 working for a fashion magazine: Fashion Insider. He first started as a photographer and cameraman, and became the artistic director of the magazine in 2009. He attended the world's most famous fashion shows and worked in many countries (France, Italy, Brazil, Portugal, Georgia, UK, Turkey, Denmark, Cyprus...). Opening up to the world, and to all the celebrities he met and interviewed for his magazine, was the opportunity to develop and make his style recognized: Jean-Paul Gaultier, Karl Lagerfeld, John Galliano, Donatella Vercace, Sonia Rykiel, Usher, Chris Brown, Kanye West, Milla Jovovich, Beth Ditto, Pedro Almodovar...

Source: 1:1 Photo Magazine



At first sight, portraits. At second glance, the questioning. Paintings or photographs? Thomas Devaux artwork throws off. By its form as its content, it upsets any certainty. And, it is precisely though that movement that it comes to its full magnitude.
Fashion photographer, Thomas Devaux keeps from its reports thousands of shoots made behind the scenes that feed a later digital work. Indeed, in front of his screen, he cuts, deconstructs, assembles and recomposes his pictures until he creates images full of contradictions. Far from being frightened, Thomas Devaux finds with these dualities a remarkable tool to transcend the boundaries and ward off any kind of fatality. Of fashion, he likes the aesthetics but condemns the stylistic dictum and the imperative beauty. Of photography, he praises the documentary force but fears the frozen relation to time. And, from these considerations, comes out the idea of an nonconformism, un-postural, in the original meaning, as Thomas Devaux refuses any reductive normativity without denying for all that any legagy. Entitling his series "Attriction", he seems to insist on the idea of wear. A notion that does not necessarily imply deterioration. As, if the marks of time destroy some aspects, they also reveal some others. Finally, his work damages beauty to enhance it out of the conservative models. It brings together traditional approaches and opens them to modernity. It integrates the cyclic dimension of existence and reminds that what springs dies and what dies springs again with a new form.

Source: Ozarts Etc

 

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Dawoud Bey
United States
1953
Dawoud Bey (born David Edward Smikle; 1953) is an American photographer and educator known for his large-scale art photography and street photography portraits, including American adolescents in relation to their community, and other often marginalized subjects. In 2017, Bey was named a fellow and the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and is regarded as one of the "most innovative and influential photographers of his generation". Bey is a professor and Distinguished Artist at Columbia College Chicago.] According to The New York Times, "in the seemingly simple gesture of photographing Black subjects in everyday life, [Bey, an African-American,] helped to introduce Blackness in the context of fine art long before it was trendy, or even accepted" Born David Edward Smikle in New York City's Jamaica, Queens neighborhood, he changed his name to Dawoud Bey in the early 1970s. Bey graduated from Benjamin N. Cardozo High School. He studied at the School of Visual Arts in New York from 1977 to 1978, and spent the next two years as part of the CETA-funded Cultural Council Foundation Artists Project. In 1990, he graduated with a BFA in Photography from Empire State College, and received his MFA from Yale University School of Art in 1993. Bey didn't receive his first camera until he was 15, and has stated until that point he wanted to become a musician. Early musical inspirations included John Coltrane and early photography inspirations were James Van Der Zee and Roy Decarava. In his youth, Bey joined the Black Panthers Party and sold their newspaper on street corners. He does not consider his work to be traditional documentary. He'll pose subjects, remind them of gestures and sometimes give them accessories. Over the course of his career, Bey has participated in more than 20 artist residencies, which have allowed him to work directly with the adolescent subjects of his most recent work. A product of the 1960s, Bey said both he and his work are products of the attitude, "if you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem." This philosophy significantly influenced his artistic practice and resulted in a way of working that is both community-focused and collaborative in nature. Bey's earliest photographs, in the style of street photography, evolved into a seminal five-year project documenting the everyday life and people of Harlem in Harlem USA (1975-1979) that was exhibited at the Studio Museum in Harlem in 1979. In 2012, the Art Institute of Chicago mounted the first complete showing of the "Harlem, USA" photographs since that original exhibition, adding several never before printed photographs to the original group of twenty-five vintage prints. The complete group of photographs were acquired at that time by the AIC. During the 1980s, Bey collaborated with the artist David Hammons, documenting the latter's performance pieces - Bliz-aard Ball Sale and Pissed Off. Over time Bey proves that he develops a bond with his subjects with being more political. The article "Exhibits Challenge Us Not to Look Away Photographers Focus on Pain, Reality in the City" by Carolyn Cohen from the Boston Globe, identifies Bey's work as having a "definite political edge" to it according to Roy DeCarava. He writes more about the aesthetics of Beys work and how it is associated with documentary photography and how his work shows empathy for his subjects. This article also mentions Bey exhibiting his work at the Walker Art Center, where Kelly Jones identifies the strength of his work and his relationship with his subjects once again. Of his work with teenagers Bey has said, "My interest in young people has to do with the fact that they are the arbiters of style in the community; their appearance speaks most strongly of how a community of people defines themselves at a particular historical moment." During a residency at the Addison Gallery of American Art in 1992, Bey began photographing students from a variety of high schools both public and private, in an effort to "reach across lines of presumed differences" among the students and communities. This new direction in his work guided Bey for the next fifteen years, including two additional residencies at the Addison, an ample number of similar projects across the country, and culminated in a major 2007 exhibition and publication of portraits of teenagers organized by Aperture and entitled Class Pictures.] Alongside each of the photographs in Class Pictures, is a personal statement written by each subject. "[Bey] manages to capture all the complicated feelings of being young — the angst, the weight of enormous expectations, the hope for the future - with a single look." Bey's "The Birmingham Project" was inspired, in part, by a 1960s Civil Rights era photograph by Frank Dandridge of 16th Street Baptist Church bombing victim, Sarah Jean Collins. The Project includes a series of diptychs of an older person, alive when the bombing occurred, paired with a child the age of the victims, portraying "an almost unbearable sense of absence and loss." In 2018, his project Night Coming Tenderly, Black, consists of a series of photographs evoking the imagined experience of escaped slaves moving northward along the Underground Railroad. This work involves not portraits but landscapes, portrayed at night through the means a little used silver-gelatin process. The work seeks to evoke both terror and hope in a "land of fugitives". Bey has lived in Chicago, Illinois since 1998. He is a professor of art and Distinguished College Artist at Columbia College Chicago. Source: Wikipedia
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