• 12 Apr 2018

Photographer and Art-Trope Artist Arié Botbol takes us on an artistic journey. Discover his path and his statement.

La Madone aux nèfles (Madonna and medlars) from the Vies Intérieures (Inner lives) series by Arié Botbol

La Madone aux nèfles (Madonna and medlars), Vies Intérieures (Inner lives) series © Arié Botbol

His path

Born in Morocco but living in France since I was seven year-old, I studied at a business school in Lille and then at the CELSA in Paris. Later on, I embraced a career in communication consulting. Founder of my own agency in 2004, the artistic and conceptual dimension of the creative direction for brands already gave me as much pleasure as the strategic dimension. Such a creative streak also expressed itself through photography between 1995 and 2010. Since 2011 it has been playing a bigger role in my life. Therefore, I give an even more special attention to the quality of my images. The reflection on cohere series got stronger and in 2014 I had my first exhibition in a gallery. Photography, photo retouching and exhibition organization are done as a self-taught Artist.

L’Âme du Foundouk (The Foundouk's soul) from the A la recherche du Paradis perdu (Looking for the lost Paradise) series by Arié Botbol

L’Âme du Foundouk (The Foundouk’s soul), A la recherche du Paradis perdu (Looking for the lost Paradise) series © Arié Botbol

His artistic statement

I am both an author Artist and a Photo-reporter. Indeed, since October 2017 I am represented by the photographers Agency Hans Lucas as a Photo-reporter. Even though I like to stay alert to what goes on in my city, in Paris, my gaze has never been as stimulated as when I travel on different continents, cultures and civilizations. In my opinion, photography and traveling are intimately connected. To look at the world through the camera is to reinforce my curiosity for what surrounds me, observing more sharply and sensitively. Since the acquisition of my first reflex camera at the age of 20, I have never stopped looking at the city and at the world. Great photographers such as Harry Gruyaert, Steve McCurry, Alex Webb, Saul Leiter or Joel Meyerowitz, through the mastering of the interplay between shadows and colors, have always inspired me. It enables me to be a photographer of intimacy. Since I was born in Morocco, I preciously conveyed the taste of colors, savors and refinement from my native country. As a result, I propose images full of humanity which often talk about family and intimate moments. I let myself overwhelm by the beauty of the people I meet. Such an intimacy connects us through space and time. I seek to establish an emotional complicity with the viewer.

La bergère aux amandiers (The Sheperdess and the almond trees), from the A la recherche du Paradis perdu (Looking for the lost Paradise) series by Arié Botbol

La bergère aux amandiers (The Sheperdess and the almond trees), A la recherche du Paradis perdu (Looking for the lost Paradise) series © Arié Botbol

His evolution

In 5 years of constant and more professional practice of photography, my gaze has been more and more oriented towards the individual as a central theme. It implies fostering proximity and immersion in daily routines. I have to get closer to by subjects and therefore get accepted as a photographer. I have currently two series in reflection. The first one is entitled “The intimate city” meaning the city that we do not see at first glance. The idea is to show that the city’s intimate aspect remains strong despite the emergence of new technologies and social media which tend to isolate the individual and deconstruct family rituals. The second series focuses on the Mediterranean Mothers from one side to the other of the sea to extract a documentary monograph dealing with Mothers/children in the countries that run along the sea. Such a sea which has a strong personality, is the common cradle of all these countries and therefore is a common cultural reference more or less visible. The next steps of my artistic statement are to succeed in reinforcing my own artistic style.

His exhibitions

My first exhibition took place in June 2014 at the Parisian gallery La Laverie and was entitled “Somewhere, Exactly.” It was a beautiful moment. Eight other exhibitions followed, including in Paris, with, among others, the Vidi Vixi gallery, the 2017 Photo Salon and the 44 Kléber gallery. I have an excellent memory of my two participations at the Salon de la Quatrième image which attracts 20 000 visitors each year. Internationally speaking, Les Insolites library in Tangier host my exhibition “Moroccan reminiscences” in July 2016. The edition of my first photography book entitled “Moroccan correspondences” also was an important step. In this book I reveal unconscious and subtle photographic correspondences taken when I was traveling the world and echoing my roots. My native Morocco follows me everywhere I look. These reminiscences of a lost paradise shaped my sensitivity. I also took the time to collect all those scenes to implement a new human geography. I will exhibit on May 4th, 5th and 6th 2018 with Hans Lucas at the International Salon of documentary photography, PHOTO DC at the Espace des blancs manteaux in Paris.

La Funambule (The Funambulist) from the Poésies urbaines (Urban poetry) series © Arié Botbol

La Funambule (The Funambulist), Poésies urbaines (Urban poetry) series © Arié Botbol

His relation to Art-Trope

What I seek in Art-Trope is the quality of the representation on one hand and advice on my development as an Artist on the other hand. Also, Art-Trope is a way to obtain concrete results on my Artist visibility. It is also a path to exhibit and access services I can activate whenever I see fit. The support in my exhibition goals both in galleries and salons is also an essential aspect of my artistic career development. All these reasons encouraged me to integrate Art-Trope’s community.

Read our article about the Frick Collection’s renovation in New York here.