The Galerie Thierry Bigaignon is exclusively dedicated to photography. With a strong international focus the gallery defends a certain vision of photography which it defines as “classic with a twist”! The gallery’s program is set to surprise, shove and question, unveiling the unexpected, placing the oxymo- ron at the heart of its exhibitions and playing with timescales.Exhibit after exhibit, the gallery clearly states and reinforces its founding identity: to propose challenging works from premium artists, whet- her they be emerging, mid-career or world-famous.Renowned for its private openings, exclusively re- served to its clients, the gallery goes out of its way to unveil the best possible way the works of the artists it represents. Located in the thriving Upper-Marais in Paris, France and nested in a magnificent 17th century mansion, the gallery offers a true contemporary space which is both open to the outside and accessible to everyone, but also elevated so as to offer collectors a greater sense of privacy and confidentiality. [Galerie Thierry Bigaignon]
Can you please introduce yourself for those who don’t know?
My name is Thierry Bigaignon, I’m 45 and I own and manage a photography gallery in central Paris, France.
Could you tell me a little bit about the Galerie Thierry Bigaignon?
The gallery started in 2016. In less than 18 months we have gained a lot of momentum and I think it is fair to say that we are already recognized as being part of the finest photography galleries in Paris.
In general, what is your goal in curating art exhibitions?
At the end of the day it is all about sharing, sharing a passion for photography, for photographs and for photographers! Personally, I also want to surprise with the unexpected, shift perceptions by choosing to put the oxymoronic at the heart of my curation, and question the norm by disrupting conventional time frames.
What is the secret of making a gallery successful?
I think that today, we need to give out much more than our predecessors used to do. It is not enough to just build up nice exhibitions, one after the other.
A gallery, to have a little chance to get successful, needs to be agile with social media, to be internet-proficient generally-speaking, to nurture a very profound one-to-one relationship not only with collectors but with each and every visitor. It is also needs to tell a story that is appealing to everyone. And of course, it needs to show the best, the finest and the most engaging works!
How did you select the participating artists?
Most of the artists I represent were met through personal connections, through word to mouth! But when the time comes to make a decision to select one artist in particular, multiple factors come into play.
Beyond the works, for which I need to feel deep emotions, I would say that the human factor is key. Life is too short. I need to work with nice people to defend their work with the best energy and enthusiasm.
What advice do you have for artists who have yet to find gallery representation– should they sit back, create, and wait for that day to come… or should they focus on self-marketing their art work?
I think they need to do it all: work hard for sure to create the most truthful works they can, but also to go out there and meet people. They need to go to openings, to talk about their work to many different people, invite curators to visit their studios, participe in collective exhibits, etc. If they do all of this and if their work is sincere, they will eventually be spotted.
What advice would you like to offer other artists that might help them learn to better promote their work?
The #1 lesson in promotion, whether it be in the arts or in any kind of fields, make sure to have other people talk nicely about your work. It is always more powerful than self-promotion.
How would you sum up contemporary photography?
Contemporary photography is more about showing an image than producing a photograph, but at the end of the day, emotion is the only thing that matter
Are there any future projects you are excited about and would like to share with us?
I’m of course very excited by our next exhibition, Amélie Labourdette’s Empire of Dust, as it is always a very refreshing moment to unveil the work of a young and emerging artist, who I think has a great future. I’m also eager to publish the first edition of the « gallery catalogue », due to come out in December, just in time for the holiday season. The annual catalogue will be a kind of photographic notebook, the personal choice of the gallery owner, a small selection of the works we have exhibited in the last 12 months, but also, a few unpublished pieces close to my heart which will now become part of the history of the gallery, and I hope, the history of photography.
In closing, is there anything you would like to say about your gallery or your roster of artists?
Keep a close eye on our news, we are preparing some very innovative features in the months to come!