As part of Prix de Photographie Marc Ladreit de Lacharrière-Académie des beaux-arts.
“I have been photographing animals, wild animals, for several years, including some species that will probably survive only in zoos, or thanks to zoos, in the years to come. I began my series “In Situ” in Europe, and I am pursuing this work in the United States.
The architecture and decor of zoos is particularly interesting to photograph, as they are richly influenced, and imbued with the visual and artistic, popular and learned culture of their country. They have greatly changed since the first parks appeared, and continue to evolve : bars have become rare, to provide an unobscured view of the animals, and the shape and colour of the installations often evoke the countries of origin of the species that they accommodate.
Animals for their part fascinate me as unique, mysterious and beautiful beings. Through my photography, I try to portray them in their beauty, and, in a way, to get closer to them. I also think that animals are in the spirit of man, from their early childhood. The colours and the architecture of their surroundings are conducive to imagination, and in my pictures (in which there is no digital retouching or manipulation) animals seem to represent something of the “animal inside us,” in all its diversity: one that we can caress, pamper, fear… as well as, animals from stories, myths and illustrated children’s books.
Finally, my work is also a metaphor. I try to isolate the animal in my photographs (although they rarely live alone in zoos) in order to encourage an encounter, an encounter with the ‘Other’, that I have tried to represent with nobility and a certain closeness, an ‘Other’ which we have to take care of, an ‘Other’ that I have watched, but who in return watches me as well.”