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Henri PEYRE

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Interview

J.-B.: What is your idea of a good photograph?

H.P.: I come from painting, and more precisely from the lyrical expression trend, as I used to be a student in Olivier Debré’s class at Paris Fine Arts School. At that time, to draw had almost become forbidden. As I was not bad at drawing, I liked figuration, which some fashion then forbade. It was a weird time, with its very narrow-minded and authoritative rules; real shackles were weighing in the name of “contemporary art”, which were like church speech, a kind of “all-but-the-past” policy that had little real contents. It was also a time when you could not think: reasoning seemed to be a work’s foe and, to me, it was more than infuriating.
Because figuration was prohibited in painting, I turned to photography. It was not a radical choice: there was a time when I had to live on something else than art to survive, and photography enabled me to remain in the realm of images when I did not have the time or the means to paint any more. I later enjoyed as a blessing the arrival of the great image processing software and the fact that it could be applied to photographs.
Painting came back into my life through photography at that time. I grew a great interest in photographic image and thus, in just image. I wrote many papers on the matter. I took time to stomach; it took me another couple of years before I could understand that there was an opportunity to practice photography involving so much thought, so much building-up, and that would be so dense that, in spite of its lack of substance, it could yield the viewer to a unexpected enjoyment, mainly based on the confusion with the painted reference.

 


Henri PEYRE et Catherine AUGUSTE - Panier de roses fanées avec velours vert (2015)

 

 

 

 

 

J.-B.: How do you account for this interest in still life?

H.P.: I am keen on still life painting because it is considered as a minor genre, wrongly of course. You can work on it quietly, in the dark and in silence. You are free to calculate, combine, weigh and think. It may also be the genre in which the discrepancy between the quality of the starting artefacts and the quality of the final result is the most important. This aspect of added value matters a lot. In aesthetics, I am convinced that you should think in terms of bringing together heterogeneous contents and that enjoyment stems from this very confrontation.

 


Henri PEYRE et Catherine AUGUSTE - Nature morte avec hautbois, luth et basson (2016)

 

 

 

J.-B.: Do you practise still life only?

H.P.: For the time being, I mostly deal with still life. There are still a good many unanswered questions. It is like an investigation in which a lot of work is yet to be done in order to see clear and understand.

Yet I have also started to make portraits in the manner of Renaissance. I like the exactness and the simplicity of pose of that time. I like Holbein’s characters with their stern faces, people whose expressions show nice and strong responsibilities in the world. I think it is wonderful and it moves me deeply. And in the same time, there is something childish and spontaneous in the motives, a kind of cheerful innocence that will later be swept away as painting becomes more grandiloquent.

 

 

J.-B.: Could you tell us why you made the galerie-photo.com website, which deals with high resolution photography especially?

H.P.: It is very much connected to my way of considering photography. I want to be in the know of the latest fashion in technique. I also want to establish links with all the people who could think as I do. It is a deeply rooted need. Today, in high resolution photography, you have to do with big, very technical, heavy, cumbersome and conspicuous cameras. You cannot dream of stealing a picture with such cameras. You can only ask for people’s consents, and sit for long, settle into the landscape, breathe more calmly, and feel time as it passes. It is another philosophy that leads you to thinking, composition, insight and, as a result, to a certain harmony with the world.

Besides, operating is also more technical: images are heavier and more difficult to handle. Of course, you have to think about the material a lot, you have to optimize for the best possible quality with the minimum investment, and therefore hunt for information, be curious, seek to learn, and go toward those who detain knowledge. There also exists a real high resolution photography circle made of passionate, modest, and highly qualified people. Some of them contribute to the website in the form of courses or technical tips and that is great. I also upload there all the information I can get, so as to be as useful as possible to all those this approach appeals to. In fact, the website also makes me go further and deeper and I do for all what I would not do for myself alone. It leaves me no option but self improvement on the days I would tend to feel a bit lazy or disheartened.

 

 


Henri PEYRE et Catherine AUGUSTE - Grande table de fête avec verre d'eau de vie (2015)

 

   
 

 

 

Acheter des photographies d'Henri Peyre

 

dernière modification de cet article : 2014

 

   

 

tous les textes sont publiés sous l'entière responsabilité de leurs auteurs
pour toute remarque concernant les articles, merci de contacter henri.peyre@(ntispam)phonem.fr

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