Artist Antoine Buttafoghi tells us about his vision of photography and immortalizes perfect moments that the world offers us:
His artistic journey
As a child, I spoke very little, but I drew a lot. As far as I can remember, when I saw a neighbor who had a camera, I thought to myself: “How fortunate, he can capture the world!” Then I made music for more than 20 years, later computer music and finally I discovered Photoshop. Afterward, photography caught up with me. I believe that the passion for image has always been ingrained in me. As a young child, I spent a lot of time looking at artworks’s composition by contemplating them in my History books. I was analyzing the images without even knowing it.
I have been teaching image related techniques for over twenty years, as a consultant to independant (photographers, retouchers, graphic designers and artistic directors) in Paris and I am a professor at the University of Corse. I was also a specialist journalist for the Creation Numérique magazine. Teaching is a good thing, because we learn a lot in exchange and it forces us to be constantly up to date in our knowledge.
His artistic expression
Inspiration comes from a spontaneous and indefinable source and in most cases through our feelings. It is much more than a simple intuition and it is constantly fed by my daily life. It seems to have a sprawling shape, because everything feeds on everything. Obviously, photography, drawing, painting, movies and music are my sources of inspiration. Above all, and the most important thing is to have a curious eye, on the lookout, always on track to keep your deep inside child’s gaze. You must be constantly amazed!
I have been working lately on a series called “Loneliness (es)” which highlights the human in all his diversity, whether he is connected or not with his environment. What interests me especially when I practice photography are the tensions between their different visual masses and their balance. I am careful to organize what is in the frame, down to each details matters. Everything must be brought together to produce a photography that captures an ephemeral moment of perfection including perfect alignment, a balance point in the composition, harmony all through a good timing. I try to present gentle, human and sensitive photographs.
The technique must be learned and mastered to quickly forget it, because you have to go straight to the point and the most important thing is the final photograph: whether it is shooting, development or retouching. But of course, you have to do your best as soon as you shoot. A wobbly composition is not catchable. The purpose of a good photo, for me, is to provoke an emotion, a questioning. Cocteau said: “art only exists if it prolongs a cry, a laugh or a complaint”. Photography is not just a question of light and composition, it must arouse an emotion, a question, challenge a fragility in us.
I was a finalist of the prestigious Hasselblad Masters prize in 2012 with photomontages by presenting a photo-composition work with a somewhat baroque vision. The more my photographic practice intensified, the more I wanted my compositions to go to the essentials. For the record, I tried this same award in 2018 and I was in the final in front of nearly 3,500 photographers in the Street Photography category.
My last series entitled “Loneliness (es)” highlights solitudes, many and varied. Loneliness is also the kingdom of photographers. Being a photographer is a deeply personal exercise, because to photograph is to enter the world of solitary. But, I need to be guided by my intuition. In addition to my personal work, I am also organizing photo workshops in Greenland which should start next winter. This is a project that is very close to my heart! No doubt, I will continue my series “Kalaallit Nunaat” on this place of the world at once confusing and so endearing!
My photographs have been exhibited in Hungary, India, the United Kingdom, Italy, Japan and Brazil and Luxembourg. I was probably the most impressed by the exhibition at the National Museum of Brasilia in 2013. But I still keep a special place for my first exhibition in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg in 2008.
I am preparing a personal exhibition in Russia for January 2021 in a gallery in Nizhny Tagil (in the Urals).
His relationship with Art-Trope
As a photographer, I spend more time behind my camera or my computer than working with art market players to advance my artistic career. I have always had a certain modesty to show my work and I need to collaborate with people through a healthy and soothing relationship.
I have a lot of confidence in Virginia, besides my confidence in her was immediate, from our first telephone interview, the meeting only confirmed the trust I put in our collaboration. During my strategic interview, her advice allowed me to progress and move forward. To me, human relationships are based on trust, it is the foundation of a fulfilling collaboration. Art-Trope offers total support that I can count on to devote myself to my work. It is good to know that we are supported.