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Thierry Clech
Thierry Clech
Thierry Clech

Thierry Clech

Country: France

Thierry Clech is a French photographer based in Paris. Much of his work (exclusively in black & white films) is made during his travels (India, Ukraine, Istanbul, Tokyo...), but he also takes pictures in France, particulary in the business district of La Défense, near Paris. He published two books in collaboration with French novelists (Philippe Jaenada and Bernard Chambaz) and his work has been exhibited widely in France and abroad (Nadar Gallery, Press Club of France, Barrobjectif Festival, National Library of Belarus, FotoIstanbul Festival, BlowUp Angkor Festival in Cambodia…).

Artist statement:
"Thierry Clech can see the world like nobody else. In any case, he manages to put the world rules inside the frame of his pictures. Fortunately or thanks to his instinct or I don't know how, he is often in the right place at the right time. He could have probably stayed in Paris, within the ring road, within the twenty districts of his garden, and almost get the same result - because a man is a man, wherever he is. But the world is not so wide, it was better to travel around it. Just to be absolutely sure. Go around it. Then he has been nearly everywhere on the globe, almost at random, he has stopped a few moments in a city of the northern hemisphere, by a field in the southern hemisphere, and he has come back with pictures which approximately show the same thing in the form or in substance : human beings in the heart of their environment, stuck in the setting, stifled, trapped or integrated, assimilated but not totally, always isolated, just like oil in water, anxious, absent-minded, busy or passive, fearful, overtaken by events, brave, rebellious, lost, determined or exhausted. Mankind in the setting."
Philippe Jaenada, novelist, Chevalier de l'Ordre des arts et des lettres.

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More Great Photographers To Discover

Michal Cala
Poland
1948
Michal Cala was born in Toruń, Poland in 1948 and studied aircraft construction in Warsaw at the University of Technology in the early 1970's. From 1974 to 1983 he worked as an engineer in various companies in Silesia, and began photographing in the area. In 1977, he moved to Tychy in Upper Silesia, where he co-founded the photographers' association KRON and become a member of the ZPAF – the Union of Polish Art Photographers. Relatively unknown outside of his native country, his work is in several museum collections in Poland; in the Silesian Museum of Katowice, the Silesian Library in Katowice, the Upper Silesian Museum in Bytom, the Coal Mining Museum in Zabrze as well as local government building in Duisburg in the Ruhr (Germany) and various private collections. His work has received much acclaim and won numerus awards; among which are the Grand Prix at the Polish Landscape Biennale in Kielce twice, 1979 and 1983 and won the first prise at the Pilsner International Photo Awards in the Industrial category in 2007. His work from Galicia series and the Paysages de Pologne exhibition was shown in France in 1980's. The Silesia exhibition was shown widely in Katowice (1984, 2002, 2008), Krakow (1986, 2006), Warsaw (1986, 2009), in Enschede, the Netherlands, (2012), at the Photo Biennale Mannheim – Ludwigshafen – Heidelberg (2007) and part of group project at the Noorderlicht Photo Festival in the Netherlands (2008). In 2007 he was classified as one of most important Polish photographers in last century and participated in the group exhibition Polish Photography in XX Century (Warsaw, Poland and Vilnius, Lithuania). In the same year, Cala's photography was featured in British Journal of Photography and Foto8 magazine. Publications on his work include The Anthology of Polish Photography 1839 – 1989, The Masters of Polish Landscape and The Polish Photography in the 20th Century. His past exhibition Metropolis on Silesian urban landscapes was held at the Silesian Museum in Katowice in 2013 and a solo show Silesia and Galicia in the Museum of History of Photography in 2016 in Krakow (Poland). His photo book based on the same series was recently selected in the Open Submission at Belfast and Athens Photo Festivals respectively (2017). The latest solo exhibition at MMX Gallery; SILESIA 1975-1985, was the first time his work has been shown in UK.MMX Gallery about the exhibition Silesia 1975-1985 Michal Cala is regarded as one of the most important Polish photographers of the last century. Cala started taking pictures in his youth and has been working professionally as a photographer for nearly 40 years. Silesia is an industrial district in Poland which at the time of 1970's and early 1980's was experiencing its peak of development and activity. Although providing massive employment for the area, the environmental issues were ignored. Stepping off the train, Cala encountered the other-worldly landscape for the first time and decided this is what he wanted to make of photographic record of. Fascinated by the subject matter, he devoted himself to photographing the Silesian landscape between 1975 – 1992, which resulted in the series entitled Silesia (Śląsk in Polish). Cala's photography took on various influences ranging from surrealism, which inspired a movement in Poland called "fotografia kreacyjna" (creative photography), and the realism of British New Wave cinema of the late 1950's and early 1960's. Poland's isolation during the Cold War made it very difficult for photographers to obtain artistic publications. However, some Czech and Polish magazines were publishing Western photographers work such as Edward Weston, Bill Brandt, Robert Frank and Diane Arbus who acted as a window for inspiration. Cala was influenced by landscape, reportage and social documentary photography, which he always portrayed in his personally stylised images. In Poland, political and material conditions were harsh under Soviet influence. Using a basic 35mm Exa 500 camera, he managed to produce images of such a lyrical beauty only to be emphasised again with a dark graphic printing style, to further enhance his vision of the sometimes-apocalyptic looking landscape before him. A single house surrounded by huge cooling towers, majestic slagheaps, lonely figures microscopic when compared to the massive scale of industrial surroundings are subtle metaphors of living in a communist reality. The majority of photographs in the exhibition are vintage silver gelatin prints, made by Cala at the time they were taken.Source: MMX Gallery
Claude Cahun
France
1894 | † 1954
Claude Cahun (25 October 1894 - 8 December 1954), born Lucy Renee Mathilde Schwob, was a French Surrealist photographer, sculptor and writer. Schwob adopted the pseudonym Claude Cahun in 1914 and is best known for their self-portraits, in which they assume a variety of personae. Cahun's work was both political and personal, and often undermined traditional concepts of static gender roles. In their autobiography, Disavowals, they explained their rejection of gender, "Masculine? Feminine? It depends on the situation. Neuter is the only gender that always suits me." This declaration is an important consideration when analysing Cahun's photography as they intentionally play with and subvert the viewers' understanding of gender. This quote, together with their unconventional appearance and their gender-ambiguous pseudonym, means that it is not infrequent to see the pronoun 'they' used nowadays in critical studies on Cahun. There is no evidence that they ever adopted 'they' as their preferred pronoun, but one should take into account the cultural and historical context behind this. Given that French pronouns were extremely binary and the use of gender neutral pronouns for nonbinary individuals wasn't common in the European interwar period, it isn't unreasonable to imagine Cahun would have used gender neutral pronouns had it not been for their environment. In any case, the use of the gender neutral pronouns in reference to Cahun is less of an attempt to apply contemporary norms to a historical figure, but rather a way for their gender to remain an open question in academia. During WWII, Cahun was also active as a resistance worker and propagandist. Source: Wikipedia
Marco Guerra
Chile
1965
Marco was born in Santiago, Chile, in July 1st 1965. In September 11th of 1973, as the president of Chile was being overthrown by a military coup in the city center, he was struck by the bravery of the photojournalist in the center of it all, risking their life to tell the news story. That day he started to dream in becoming a photographer. Marco got his first photo assistant job at the age of 12, holding a portable flash to photograph Saturday Night Fever children's party, and was amazed how people became egocentric as soon as he pointed the flash in their direction. In 1979 he emigrated with his family to New York city. There he was offered a job working for a photographer who was capturing nights in Studio 54 for Andy Warhol's Interview Magazine. That allowed Marco, to start his aesthetic exploration, and to learn how media and politics shaped the world he was living in. In 1990 he became determined to be a full time artist. He did not allowed himself to do anything that was not related to photography, the history of aesthetic and how we humans interpreted visual information. He started assisting the top International photographers, artist and creative directors of the time and learned to see, analyzed and ask questions. By the mid 1990s he started getting professional assignments as an art, fashion, travel, portrait and advertising photographer for top brands and top magazines like French Vogue, Condé Nast Travel UK, Elle, Harper's Bazaar, New Yorker Magazine, New York Times, and luxury brands such as Levis, Rolex, Ralph Lauren and Bergdorf Goodman, to mention few. By 2001 he started producing, directing and shooting Art films for Ralph Lauren, Rolex and LVMH. In 2002 after meeting and being enchanted by a vision of the American/French/ Moroccan artist Yasmina Alaoui in NYC, they decided to collaborate and explored new areas in Photography, which was changing rapidly because of digital media. By mixing old and new techniques they create "1001 Dreams" series. A project of Love: large formats prints, combining photography and drawing. This work has been exhibited around the world and is part of important collections. Eventually Marco decided to stop doing commercial work and completely focus and explore contemporary art photography. In 2007 after years of soul searching for a non orientalist way to portrait Morocco, he started photographing his Tangiers series over the course of 2 years: Documenting the same street intersection taken from the top of a building, always around 4:30 am in the morning, capturing the intersection of the world of the sexes: the men running home from a long night, and the women starting the work day. This Series was part 2016 Marrakech Biennale, The Pierre Berge Cinematheque Benefit Auction in 2011 in Arle's and Scope Miami 2011 as well print reside in Important collection Internationally. In 2008 to 2012, inspired by a Weston and a paragraph of Neruda ( It is good, at certain hours of the day and night, to look closely at the world of objects at rest.) he set himself with his Rolleiflex , to photograph his “ Volume and lines” series, capturing the stillness and poetry of water cisterns in the palmeraie of Marrakech. This will take several years to shoot. A meditative project, for which he started to spend a lot of time in North Africa. In 2012, Cacerolazo project came alive. Commissioned for the 2012 Marrakech Biennale and inspired by the mood of the time, “Jasmine Revolution” and his childhood memories, marching along the women of Santiago who gathered at dusk , to bang their empty pots and pans in loud and peaceful protest in his native Chile streets. Cacerolazo is a personal examination of the strength and integrity of women and of their power to effect transformation. 10 pieces emerges, each from a mosaic of 119 moments capture with Polaroids, arrayed as tiles. In 2014 he started capturing Moroccan Landscape series, which look natural but have been transformed by humans, and photographed in contemporary neutral tones opposite of a folkloric approach to capturing Morocco. This is an on going project. Next his photography took a big dive to abstraction. Inspired by Sir, Francis Galton and his techniques of composite images, for the next 7 years he would work on composite nudes, cities, monuments and museums. He felt it was the proper choice to speak about time and space repetition. He currently working on composite photography, sculpture project and living between New York and Marrakech.
R.J. Kern
United States
1978
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