My summer Parisian editorial for Institute Magazine
model: Oscar Putrino
outfits: Sébastien Blondin
stylist: Brian Mc Neal
makeup artist & hair stylist: Elodie F. Mua
Our photo session starts in the underbridges of the Seine river. Almost any city situated near water is changing the relationships between the static and the constantly moving. On a metaphysical level, the water is a type of mirror in which the city finds its own reflection. For centuries poets, painters, philosophers, novelists, architects, lovers, suicides and finally tourists, have understood this powerful attraction. The riverbanks are worth exploring. The stone walls of the quays are a type of code language for the river's past. If you look carefully you can see the sick green water flowing under the bridge, the various water levels form past floods, the giant iron rings used to tie river barges to the docks, the odd iron grate or doorway leading to an underground passage, an ancient sewer system, metro portals, an unknown catacomb.
Both creative and fashion photography routes continue on the left bank of the River Seine, in the sixth arrondissement which includes the historical districts of Saint-Germain-des-Prés and Luxembourg (surrounding the Palace and its Gardens). With its famous cityscape, deeply rooted in the intellectual tradition, prestigious history, beautiful architecture and central location, this arrondissement for a long time has been home to French "intelligentsia" and is well known for its café culture. Here we have chosen two locations: rue Visconti, used to be called «little Geneva» in memory of the Protestants who resided there in the 16C, as well as Racine and Balzac. The houses are mostly of the seventeenth century, many of them have kept beautiful sculpted portals and beautiful course (“La rue Visconti est un coupe-gorge où souffle l'esprit.” Alexandre Vialatte, 1985); rue Bonaparte, characterised by a number of 'hôtels particuliers' (grand townhouses) and elegant apartment buildings, containing a number of bookshops, antiquarian booksellers, publishers and art galleries that display some wonderful collections of art, including paintings by French and world-famous international artists, both modern and more classical.
Our creative way ends in the Le Marais, a historical district of Paris, the closest that will bring you to medieval Paris that it has more pre-revolutionary buildings and streets left intact than any other area in Paris. The Marais is also known for its numerous art galleries and design shops. A bit like Soho in Manhattan, it’s full of wonderful sensitive people, which means great artists from all possible fields It’s the core of the LGBT culture in Paris.
The photography mood has a tendency to focus on the subjective and intimistic dimension and on some moments of immediacy, expressed through a terse style, often tinged with nostalgic tones.
The subject is a shy and melancholy soul that becomes part of a river landscape, an artistic interior and an urban environment with a road with the white stripes. And the outfits make it "body" in an oxymoronic harmony with the landscape: black cape in the damp under bridges of the Seine, a long black coat in the alleys and the courtyards of rue Visconti and in the art galleries of rue Bonaparte and a classy dress on the streets of the Marais.
Intimate, rarefied and deliberately essential photography with no frills or bombast, just like a certain contemporary Russian artistic avant-garde suggests. And an almost lyrical afflatus wafts in each picture...