Photographer and Art-Trope Artist Bruno Victoria presents his approach to photography, from his experience in the fashion industry to his first exhibition in Washington DC:
I started my career as a fashion designer. For fifteen years I participated in the creative process which enabled me to develop a sense of colors, textures and volumes. It also was a work in which image is always essential: iconographic research for inspiration, participation in shootings to define the brand’s image. Working alongside with Hédi Slimane from Yves Saint Laurent, my eye became sharper to photography. Then, as a collection director for the eponymous brand Kris Van Assche, I was the head of research to find a textile vocabulary suited for the collection’s themes. Through the process of choosing, organizing and developing fabrics, I grew a particular interest in textures. More and more eager to define my own aesthetic identity, I chose photography as an artistic practice and decided to enroll technical classes at the EFET (Ecole photo et formation of Paris).
His artistic statement
My favorite theme is the questioning of reality VS imaginary: looking for the oneiric essence of my surroundings, revealing fragility, without artificial staging. I am particularly interested in childhood and old age because that is when the sensation of letting go is the most vivid. I also focus on the notion of territory which can be either inner or outer. To explore and to expose places is to show the matter and play with senses similarities. I use the light as a technique: strong contrasts isolating the subject, definite shadows to sculpt the image. It is also through a special attention to composition that I concentrate the subject to refine it. Finally, it is time that is essential in my statement. Waiting tirelessly to find the right angle, the right time to translate. Leaning, diverting the gaze to avoid direct contact; because my desire is for the viewer to feel the mystery. Appeal, question, and encourage to see things differently.
I started my artistic practice through experimentations with simple tools: Polaroid, disposable cameras, smartphones. What was important was to test things without technical requirements. Since I lived three years in the United States of America, my research process intensified, especially for outdoor subjects because the light was stronger. As a result, I found out what could be my visual language, the effects I wanted, the subjects that interested me etc. Later on I did a technical training which resulted in the choice of a digital unit. My approach has been much more oriented towards documentation ever since: the eagerness to share the encounters and to explore the link between people and places, bodies and space. I would like to emphasize records I get from a strong and yet subjective angle. The greatest challenge is the realization of pictorial objects that would need subtexts.
My first exhibition took place in June 2014 at the French Embassy in the United Sates in Washington DC. It was a determining moment for me which gave me the push to keep going forward and reaffirm my artistic statement. Confronting my work to a variety of gazes, hearing the comments enabled me to claim my vision and to cultivate the desire to do better and improve it. My second exhibition was even more powerful. Indeed, in April 2017 at the Point Ephémère in Paris, I showed my documentary work with the “Nap” series. Its theme was old age which led me to visit several elderly people, in collaboration with a social organization in the 11th district of Paris. I had the chance to see some people I photographed again, sometimes along side with family members as well as some of the organization’s assistant nurses. Therefore I was deeply moved by these multi-faceted reflections. This exhibition also made me realize to what extent some subjects can never go unnoticed and that image can liberating.
His relationship to Art-Trope
My priority by contacting Art-Trope was to get out of a certain solitude that comes along with being an Artist. The goal is to collaborate in every aspects that would enable me to improve the way I show my work. Of course, there is my desire to exhibit but it is also important to get ready ahead of the time. As a result, Art-Trope supports me in that manner while leaving me the choice to make decisions freely about my artistic career development.
See Bruno Victoria’s Art-Trope profile here.
Read our article about Modigliani’s sulfurous nudes here.