Sunday, April 29, 2018

Sylvia Gutierrez reviews Patrick-Bailly-Maître-Grand

           Patrick-Bailly-Maître-Grand is a physicist, painter and French photographer whose photographic body of work reflects all three of those disciplines. Contrary to his wife, Laurence Demaison’s photographic methods, he combines his playful and artistic imagination with complex darkroom techniques and alternative processes such as periphotography, strobophotography, photograms, Sabatier, daguerreotype (in which he is regarded as one of the most important contemporary daguerreotypists) and many more including is own inventions. Although Patrick uses elaborate methods to process his images, he still manages to dissolve all complexity alongside the notion of perspective by simplifying his subjects visually.  
             Majority of Patrick’s work contains a certain dark humor which is combined through his titles and representation of the classic iconography of still lifes by bordering o abstraction and double meanings. In his series Fromol’s Band done in 1986, Patrick focuses on periphotorography to turn his images in “visual” cylinders as an observation on how the “human brain consigns to memory, but foes not register everything that goes on before the eyes.” With this method, Patrick is allowing the viewer to observe and take in all the details of those animals preserved in jars of formaldehyde. In another of his series, Les Maximiliennes (Blanches et Noires) done in 1999, he attempts to replicate a photograph taken in the 19th century of a shirt worn by the Emperor Maximillian of Austria when shot to death in the Mexican Revolution. Through the process of direct negative monotypes, Patrick achieved to replicate that image and even accentuated the pathos that one gets from the blood on the shirt. Although Patrick-Bailly-Maître-Grand’s images seem to contain simple imagery at first glance, they are filled with emotion, abstraction and bring forth a curiosity from the audience that allows them to be sucked into the imagery appreciate it and look for all the small details.

series Fromol’s Band
original 50 x 60 cm
Silver chlorobromide prints with toning. Periphotographs

series Les Maximiliennes (Blanches et Noires)
Direct negative monotypes. Silver chlorobromide prints

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