• 1 May 2020

Artist Photographer Xavier Gavaud invites us to immerse ourselves in an ideal world, a place that does not actually exist, he brings to life this moment of impalpable reality in which one can see a glimmer of life:

Confidences 11 - series Confidences - 2014 © Xavier Gavaud

Confidences 11 – series Confidences – 2014 © Xavier Gavaud

His artistic journey

The potential to create is an idea that presented itself to me, and which I seized, at quite an early stage of my life. It seems that it is this very potential that has shaped my path through writing, music or photography until I became the captain of a sailing boat for almost 20 years, more specifically on heritage sailing ships, and thus cultivated the “beautiful art of sailing” according to Joseph Conrad‘s formula. As a self-taught artist, every deviation from this specific end served as an experience that allowed for my creative progress, particularly in the field of photography, where I was able to follow and assist professionals such as Ari Rossner, whether in the lab, in the studio, or in reportage. Artistic creation should, in my opinion, be treated as an ongoing investigation, a quest in the path of a life, which, if it doesn’t always succeed in sublimation, at least attempts to transcend.

00 - series Treessence - 2018 © Xavier Gavaud

00 – series Treessence – 2018 © Xavier Gavaud

His means of artistic expression

Isn’t life itself an inspiration? The works of Edgar Morin or Gaston Bachelard, based in particular on the writings of Montaigne or Marcus Aurelius, invite us to reflect on the prism through which we perceive ideas and the world around us. The sea, a breath, the image of a bird, reflections, the universe, are all part of this attempt to resolve ourselves with that which does not exist, the ideal, the dreams we culture within ourselves. To this end, I do not seek to develop a particular technique, but rather adopt the techniques that allow me to capture the true feeling of a piece, whether that’s through shooting or processing etc. The aim is not to provoke but rather to arouse a resonance in the collector, the alchemy of an encounter in itself. I like to think of photography as poetry, as a snapshot. Even if there are works that require more preparation or staging than others, they remain the translation of a singular moment, an emotion or a thought. In this way, the feeling of being a “viewer”, as such, does not apply to my work. I only hope that there is a connection between myself, my work, and the individual who gazes upon it, that through my interpretation of the world, my gaze, a person finds themselves.

02 - series Ebb and Flow - 2011 © Xavier Gavaud

02 – series Ebb and Flow – 2011 © Xavier Gavaud

His evolution

I believe that, as an artist lives and breathes, their practice can never stop evolving. My various series do not develop from the exact same relationship with the subject: the intimacy of the sea in Ebb and Flow sets itself free through movement; Fractures & Tears use computer graphics tools to underline a feeling of tension; I am no longer who I am is like a photographic report of the interior self. I use techniques that allow me to be inspired.
There are two projects that are very close to my heart which I am currently working on. The first one, Water and Dreams, is based on a mise en scène of the origin of thought, of dreams, in this Bachelardian idea of water psychoanalysis. The other is a portrait series and explores the significance of each individual in the broad expanse of the universe.

01b - series I am no longer who I am - infertile landscapes - 2018 © Xavier Gavaud

01b – series I am no longer who I am – infertile landscapes – 2018 © Xavier Gavaud

His exhibitions

In April 2014, I finally took the plunge and was able to set up a form of retrospective called PASSAGES, which displayed all the work I had created up until that point. Its unexpected success and positive exchanges with members of the public encouraged me to continue my research into photography. It was during an exhibition in December 2018, which broached the subject of infertility, that I began to consider the various elements of an exhibition more seriously. Testimonials, videos, the publication of a book and a portfolio, invitations to speakers specialising in the field in question, finding the correct scenography for this delicate subject, were all important contributing factors. Of course, several exhibitions this year have been cancelled and/or postponed, notably the Voies Off during the Rencontres de la Photographie d’Arles, in which I was due to participate.

Sysiphe every day - series Fractures & Tears - 2019 © Xavier Gavaud

Sysiphe every day – series Fractures & Tears – 2019 © Xavier Gavaud

His relationship with Art-Trope

Today the problem is precisely the fact that the art world has become a market, with its own intricate and unspoken rules and regulations for success. If I want to progress and secure my position as an author and photographer, I have to be aware of this fact. It’s very difficult when you work alone. The Art-Trope team has been able to approach my work with a critical but also a human eye, and it’s very important to be able to have both in the current climate. In fact, they came to meet me during an exhibition, which made the beginning of this partnership feel so much more natural and sincere. The strategic consulting shows that they really take into account the artist’s work from the perspective of sustaining a successful international career. Being solicited in this way by an agent that manages a whole collective offers a sense of “insurance” or “foundation” for my work. Joining this group of artists is both rewarding and energising!

Find the Art-Trope profile of Photographer Xavier Gavaud here.

Read our articles here.