Jean-François Rauzier’s Hyperphotos
A man in black stands alone amidst a beach comprised entirely of clocks, thousands and thousands of clocks.* Such is the false world created by photographer and artist Jean-François Rauzier.
For a couple of hours, Rauzier will photograph a scene, zoomed in, zoomed out, every texture, every angle. Then he creates new worlds, new realities, from his photos. His works contain up to 1000 high resolution photos, replicated, twisted, and resized to create something new. Thus he calls them Hyperphotos. His final art can be many feet wide and many feet high. His goal, according to his website: “to combine both infinitely big and infinitely small things in one same image, out of time.”
Three of his hyperphotos are shown on this blog, but they cannot do justice to these works like his website can (see below).
One of my favorite works on his website is called Grand Central Station. And the advantage of viewing them on his website is that you can click on a photo, zoom in, and look around. The work is stunning. It’s stunning in its scope, but also in its very balanced composition. It’s individual pictures that together really do make a complete whole. His Photoshop skills are excellent, too, meaning that there’s no spotting the seams between photos in his work.
So why post this? My Friday Inspiration posts are usually videos. Why show the work of a still photographer? Three reasons. First, he’s a still photographer who thinks differently about still photography. It’s not just photography. In an interview, he said, “I’ve been a photographer, painter and sculptor for 30 years, exploring these different techniques of expression up until 2001. At that time, I began my Hyper-photo work and I haven’t needed to do anything else. I’m entirely satisfied. As a photographer, I can use this powerful art medium to capture reality. As a painter, I can control my image exactly and put what I want where I want. And as a sculptor, I savor spending a long time on my work, as a meditation, to have the pleasure to approach, touch and feel the texture, then back away to see the entire work. Hyper-photo is a combination of all of these.” *
So what is it about your art that you could think of in a radically different way?
Second, I like the idea of re-interpreting reality. He takes it to the extreme, but really, any time we push the shutter button or hit record on a video camera, we are re-interpreting reality. Our focus is necessarily limited. We aren’t just taking a picture of something; we’re also not taking a picture of whatever is just outside the frame. We are recording something and leaving something out, something that’s just as “there”. We focus a viewers attention on what we want them to see, and whether we consider that reality or contrived, on some level, once we’ve hit “record”, it’s all contrived.
Third, I like what his work says about God. It reminds me that none of us are creators, really. It’s all been done by The Creator. But as beings created in His image, we desire to create, too. It’s in our nature. It runs through our veins. We cannot help but create. Our raw materials come from His creation. And I mean that both in the physical sense and in the thinking and dreaming sense. We have the creative spark because He gave us the spark.
It reminds me of when my brother was first learning to play the guitar. He’d play something and then say to me, “Hey! Listen to this!” And he’d play it again. “Doesn’t that sound cool?” And he was saying it without ego. It wasn’t bragging. It was the joy of discovery. It was with the delight of discovering music (which is most certainly an invention of God’s). It was joy at being a co-creator, or, rather, a re-creator, of something God had already created.
Doesn’t that sound cool?
*Quotes from Digital Photo Pro