Photographer and Art-Trope Artist Gildas de la Monneraye offers us a singular approach on photography by recounting the steps that led him to creation:
I have taken up photography late in life and almost by chance. My first professional experience was in the French Army which confronted with events such as conflicts. It definitely gave maturity to my perception of the world and the mankind. I believe I learned how to look at things differently. Now holding a camera, I aspire to document, to evoke what I see and what catches my attention. The photographic technique is the outcome of personal researches combined with a few semesters spent at the “New York Institute of photography“. Regarding my photographic style, it is marked by my experiences and the influence of various spheres. Embracing photography later in life has the advantage of enhancing the approach thanks to one’s experience in previous jobs resulting in a closer relationship to one’s subjects, one might even say intimate. The photographer Artist is paradoxically a lonely fellow in the time of his work. This social background, experiencing different occupations and working with all kinds of people, is an asset. Photography does not merely record the surface; it reveals the essence of life and of things.
His artistic statement
There are plenty of disciplines in the world of photography. Photo-realism would be more my type if we need to define one. My inspiration can be found in the ballet of everyday life, exploring the human activity, the influence of it in time and space. Contemplating the human being, his psychological and body language without having to dissociate him from his environment; the relation between what structural is and what life is. My images are therefore a reflection of the reality with inevitably a personalized perspective on the truth. It is an encounter between the “self” and the environment in which I always try to interfere as less as possible to keep the moment’s authenticity. This “self” is the combination of my cultural context, my own historical interest, and my interpretation of the present situation which personal standard will echo the collective standard. The difficulty for the photographer is to gauge the fair balance between involvement and observation, commentary and testimony. The magic of the photography is a universal language and should be a matter of harmony between the content and the form of the image. The idea is not to make the spectator a mere viewer but rather confront him with his own emotions through information and the pictorial aspect of the picture. The photographer has the power to freeze a time, and offers a reflection on the suspended moment.
I do have a particular interest in the history of photography, particularly in the golden age of analogue photography. Despite the digital revolution that has disrupted the world of photography and the market, I chose to stick to silver halide photography, doing everything manually. I use exclusively black & white because of personal appreciations that align with my photographic style. I am a photographer who takes, in terms of quantity, small amount of photos. Most of my photos stem often from a single shot and, when printing, I try to keep the original frame of my shot. I know the constraints and limitations of my instrument. My camera is my brush, my pen that records what I want to set in image. As for the projects, there are different approaches. It can be, at first, a defined project limited in time or a constant research to feed an open series. In any case, my vision is influenced by a world in constant temporal motion and spatial evolution. Therefore, my statement and my curiosity evolve in the same direction while remaining faithful to my DNA.
Exhibitions are part of the photographer’s work, this is our showcase. There are different ways to exhibit one’s work. For instance, I am represented by the Swiss photo Agency, Keystone, which, via its Swiss and international networks, is in charge of my photos’ media and web coverage media. There are also Art galleries and museums where I had the opportunity to exhibit my series. My first exhibition memory was at the Museum of Photography in Zürich sponsored by the prestigious agency Magnum Photos. Being selected by a recognized and competent jury of the photographic Art market, is highly encouraging, inspiring and tremendously stimulating for an Artist. There was no institution dedicated to photography in Zürich. Therefore, such a museum project was the first to open and an absolute success for its first edition which later on led the city to support the project’s founders to make it concrete and establish a location dedicated to photography.
His relationship to Art-Trope
I am an independent photographer Artist, and yet being represented by an Agency is not enough. Indeed, it still requires to wear several hats; we play sometimes roles far from our main activity and take on activities for which we have not been prepared for at all. In the end, taking pictures does not represent as much time as we would expect. Art-Trope is an opportunity for Artists to be guided through a complex market which is difficult to access. Moreover what I really appreciate with Art-Trope is the fact that collaboration is based on interpersonal relationships. The Founder, Virginie Tison, understands the issues faced by Artists very well since she was a painter herself for several years. Such a background is a token of confidence to better communicate without restraining ourselves. Additionally, Virginie surrounds herself with a skilled team to carry out this innovative concept. The relationship with Art-Trope is valuable to contribute to our visibility, to initiate essential contacts and implement essential strategies to continue serenely our work and make it last on the long-term.
Visit Artist Gildas de la Monneraye’s website here.
See Gildas de la Monneraye’s profile here.
Read our article about the found treasures of the Louvre and the Carnegie Museum of Art here.