Works of a great contemporary master of the portrait, the photos with baroque accents of Photographer Pierre Gonnord plunge us into the soul of those who evolve at the margin.
Obviously, it is not possible to limit Pierre Gonnord's photography to the painting, but the initiative is attractive. The twilight at first removes in a brilliant appearance, the subject of the darkness. Then come Carravage, Velasquez, Murillo, Goya and the others who from Italy to Spain, from the Baroque to the Realism assert their inevitable ancestry. The reasons are numerous but what seems essential, it is the will to make the detail becoming major, to reposition the margin in the center. Enlight the skin at the most to make it become material, it is advance another truth of the portrait. It also stop lying until reveal and behead the ideal under a sharpened light. There is also the will to change the origin of the upholders of the scene, to go out of the high society to show the people, to push aside the codes so that the whore can play the Virgen and the jester can take the place of the king. The nobility was replaced by a social model stemming from a correctitude thought and from an imaging of sale. Such is the last level of our society.
When Pierre Gonnord leaves Paris, he has just finished his studies of business and marketing. He leaves for Madrid where he takes up, in coherence with his past, a company of management and then communication. The story could have been able to spell in this way, but it would be without counting the accidents of the life, that fatally forced him to flourish his marginality. After the loss of a dear being and a painful mourning, Pierre Gonnord becomes a photographer.
From the beginning, main lines are drawn. His still young practice builds up itself in the meeting, the portrait and the gap. His first models are musicians and young people with a shifted appearance. He creates with them a shape that he preserves today: black bottom, side lighting, centring framing at the level of shoulders, body of profile, face of three quarter turned to the lens and in the center of the device, the glance.
Of all that was written on the portrait, one will retain only two designs which face and sometimes intermingle: introspection and description. The work of Pierre Gonnord can be seized only in a mouvement between these two concepts. Initially, appearances which mark a difference attract him. However, he undressed them and keeps only what he already regards as essential: the face and the eyes. Later, whereas he's more interested in the social, family or historical membership with the geishas, the yakusas, the people living in the street and the gipsies, it is still the individual whom he places in the center of his research. Because his conception of the portrait is mixed and is registered as well in what defines the place of a personn in margin of the society as in what makes him exists by himself. Looking in the eyes, is enter a intimate dimension of the other, it is plunging in the truth of the one who faces us. Imposing sizes, the photographs of Pierre Gonnord oblige the spectator to have a direct confrontation with the model, with a meeting with those to which, without him, we would perhaps never have had access.
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