Photography & Cinematography

François Fontaine: Photograms of a Dream-Like Paris with the Leica X Vario, Part 1

Explore Paris with photographer François Fontaine, born in Paris in 1968 and equipped here with a Leica X Vario for a joint commission on the part of a hotel group and Leica Camera.

On this visual tour, we shall journey through famous gardens and museums, but also little-known, offbeat Parisian spots, photographed in ways that renew our gaze or highlight their most wondrous aspects. Through the photographer’s lens, they all resonate with an additional memory, related to the intellectual, artistic or cinematic life of Paris, or to those who created there; echoes and layers of history superpose or construct an image and are an integral part of the photographer’s approach.

Q: François, could you briefly introduce yourself? How did you become a photographer?

A: When I was a history of art student, specializing in the history of photography, I used to compile visual travel logs while traveling through Asia in my naval officer father’s footsteps.

Black-and-white documentary photography and its humanist approach (Brassaï, Cartier-Bresson, Bischof) made a big impact on my early photos. I then branched out into exclusively colour work that was contemplative, dreamy, timeless and pictorial.

At the time, I was working in parallel as an independent curator for various major Parisian and Spanish museums, and as a chief editor in the press. Five years ago I decided to devote myself exclusively to my art work so that I could explore photography more freely.

Q: You accepted a joint commission from a hotel group and Leica Camera. What did this commission consist of exactly?

A: The commission was a carte blanche, with a few guidelines nonetheless, consisting in producing a series on Paris. That interested me because I like to be able to express myself freely in images and because Paris is an incredibly photogenic, inspiring city.

So, my work consisted in showing that, in spite …read more

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