After completing studies at the Nancy School of Fine Art, Alexandra Davy integrates the Toulouse School of photography from which she graduated in 2013. She moves to Paris and starts working in a photographic studio as an assistant (Studio Daguerre). At the same time she continues her personal work.
Her visual approach is based on the ideas of identity and absence. Concepts that appear in the otherness of the places she photographs or creates (see her series “Faux-Semblant“). Her admiration for painters such as Edouard Hopper and Giorgio De Chirico drives her toward a pure and minimalist aesthetiscs.
She currently works on a new series of portrait. With seven other photographers, Alexandra forms the collective Prisme Noir whose ambition is to push back each other’s limits and move forward together in a permanent search for a real complementarity.
When I was young, I drove on the road many times with my parents and I have always been intrigued by these great walls surrounding this houses as well as the gates with protruding pikes. I didn’t understand why people wanted to hide themselves and above all, why they chose to condemn themselves to an obstructed view. I pictured them living in the shadow of their wall. Later I had understood that it was about the notion of property.
Bill Brandt said : « It is part of the photographer’s job to see more intensely than most people do. He must have and keep in him something of the receptiveness of the child who looks at the world for the first time or of the traveler who enters a strange country. »
This is what occured in this series. About a year ago, I was walking when I saw the roof of a house emerging from a giant hedge. The first question I asked myself was : is the house half hidden or half exposed ?
I then used my hands to make a frame. Inside there were three simple forms : a large green strip, an orange tiled roof whith a center window, under an overcast sky. The picture spoke by itself . Plants are a part of nature, but walls are a part of culture.
They provide us with an artificial protection from the eyes of the world. Inside, they conceal what we’re hiding ; outside, what we’d like to see. Which probably explains this odd habit we have of trimming our hedges just like we cut stone or cast reinforced concrete. Since that day I search for these combined forms in France.
I would like to expanded my searchs to other countries in order to expose this disturbing uniformity despite a variety of architecture, hedges and colours.
Exclusive interview of Alexandra Davy (conceptual photographer)
Y.D : Could you tel us few words about you ? -
A.D : My name is Alexandra Davy, I am a 28 years old photographer, conceptual photographer and retoucher based in Paris. I come from a beautiful French region called Auvergne !
How did photography became your passion ?
At the begining, I was more into images in motion and scenery. One evening, I was 16, I got stuck looking at a garden chair. The light was perfect, a mix of moonlight and street light. This object, banal and insignificant, staying here in front of me became suddenly wonderful, just because it was there under this feeble light. Would it still be the same if I would take a picture of it ? Does this calm strength would still be palpable ? At that moment I told myself that for me it will be still images.
Which path did you follow until now ?
After one year of art history in Strasbourg and two years in the Nancy's fine arts school, I went to make seasons on the beaches and ski station. It is a very good school for portrait, regarding the relational side. It pushed me towards people and forced me to dare. Then I came to Toulouse school of photography (ETPA), for a three years schooling. I finally ended in Paris, where I work now as freelance retoucher and photographer. I also keep on working in my personnal projects aside.
How do you work ? What are your favorite topics ?
I work… in a Hurry ! I love it, even though sometimes it is annoying because I am also a perfectionist and these two words don't fit very well together ! I like to tinker, built up small scenery such as in my « Faux-Semblant » picture serie. But I also like pictures captured live, more « humane « , during insignificant instants.
What are your influences ?
This question is complicated because there are photographers I love but they have nothing to do with my work. Such as Saul Leiter for exemple, an American colorist who worked much on blurred, superposing images, and reflection. I think I like his images because I am completely short-sighted. Therefore I stay very sensitive to colors and shapes but less to details. The work of Max Pam hits me much as well. His trips pictures are full of poetry. He is an instant photographer, with instinct, and I like his approach which for me is full of humbleness. However, what we could maybe find again in my images are the influences of Edouard Hopper, with his icy atmosphere paintings and his timeless and solitary characters who fascinates me.
Tell us few words about « Prisme Noir »
Prisme Noir is first of all a meeting between eight young photographers from multiple horizons. This collective will be one year old soon and this common identity makes us more active and visible. This motivates us to think and produce things altogether. Our approaches are very different from each others. We do not work on the same topics and it inspires us ! We just closed our first exhibition « Départ » which took place from the 26th of february to the 8th of march at the Galerie 59 Rivoli (Paris). You can see the presentation of all of us on our website www.prismenoir.com.
Could you explain the two ideas you prepared for this first collaboration with Colorblind Apparel ?
I wanted to work on graphical images, combining pictures and geometrical shapes. The idea was a big « patch » covering the image, because hidden things are often what we would like to see.
What are you working upon at the moment ?
I actually work on a serie of portraits made out of tape under polarised light called « Imagerie pour héros » as you can see above. This light gives a special coloration effect to plastic materials. This is a technic I plan to use for my futur projects. It interests me a lot as this work requires precision. It is about observing the effect upon the tape pieces and reconstruct the light on the portrait through multiple color contrast.
Thanks a lot Alexandra !!!
Source : https://www.colorblindapparel.com/59-blog-alexandra-davy.html