Thursday, October 6, 2011
Damien Blottière: The Face As Template
Posted by Jay at 6:44 PM
Most of the feedback on the previous post leaned towards the creepier side of Ken Kitano's merged portraits, maybe due to the shadowy figures or the somewhat unsettling expression. If you're not comfortable with the idea of the human face being used as a template, then stop reading. If the idea intrigues you however, this post might make you sit up and think. While Kitano simply blurred his subjects into one portrait, fashion photographer Damien Blottière focuses on only one subject, but draws on different angles to create a multi-faceted view of the portrait.
Damien Blottière began his career in fashion first as a fashion editor for different publications before transferring his passion for the industry by becoming a photographer himself. His works have been regularly featured in different magazines including The New York Times, The Economist, Dazed & Confused and Muse. He's also done some advertisements for fashion giants such as Hermès, Stella McCartney and Pierre Hardy.
What separates Blottière from other photographers in the industry is his distinctive post-processing of his works. While each of his projects is different from the other, many of them share the style of being cut up, rearranged and put together to create a collage of the same subject.
Blottière not only manages to create these mind-boggling images and designs, he does so without any kind of digital assistance. Indeed, his post processing work consists of old-fashioned scissors and paste, which allow him to slowly but surely create his magnificent hand-made artworks without any interference from Photoshop or any other kind of software. You can see from this picture that it's all kept gracefully simple and beautifully organic.
While each series is indeed cut and paste into different forms, they take inspiration from different sources. For example, for his unnerving photographs for Gray Magazine's February 2010 issue (above), the models wear their faces as masks, looking something like a 21st century Francis Bacon painting. In his series for the December 2010 issue of Velvet (below), he takes the patterns on the shirts to create a cubist photograph that pays homage to Pablo Picasso.
The inimitability of Blottière’s vision is probably due to the fact that he started in fashion and only moved to photography as a means to an end: the medium allows him to create the images that he wants and not necessarily be constrained by its limitations. Thus, he calls himself more of an image maker rather than a photographer.
Even if he doesn't see himself as a photographer, Blottière is a breath of fresh air to the industry. His creativity is where the worlds of fashion, photography and art all collide to create something unique yet reminiscent and respectful of the works of the old masters.
This is Damien Blottière's Tumblr account with more photographs from his different permutation projects, but be warned that there is nudity there (or in other words: ladies, enjoy the male eye candy!). He also has a Youtube account with a few short films which show a little bit behind the scenes on how he uses the face and the body as the templates for his photographs.