The Promenade Serie presents a selection of images made during the last two years.
The title reflects the photographic practice of Cyrille Druart. Unlike his other passion, Architecture, a field in which the progress of projects is slower and anchored in practical needs, his photographic work consists of moments, without any necessary relationship between them. If Architecture extends over the long term, Photography offers liveliness and spontaneity of the instant.
His shooting protocol is always the same. Armed with his camera, Cyrille wanders in the cities randomly, without preconceived ideas on a subject or a theme. The images made reflect his desires of the moment. He takes the position of an ant or a small insect, the most discreet possible, and observes the world to capture a form of sincerity, a certain truth. By becoming invisible people don’t notice the camera. They stop acting. His images are deliberately not linked to each others as such, but form a set of floating images, bathed in different lights and moods. It is not a series where the photographs would be a logical continuation. Each image exists for itself, independently of a whole. Therefore, this is not a work that can be compartmentalized. There is however a connection between these photographs, which is Cyrille’s interest in graphic images, often of semi-darkness, and rather suggestive. This love for light and shadow comes from classic influences, among others the work of painter Caravaggio, which he used to reproduce details using pastel when he was young.
Later on, Magnum member photographer Raymond Depardon introduced Cyrille Druart to the work of japanese photographer Daido Moriyama, which reinforced his thoughts about contrasted yet subtly crafted images. He found his way of expression there, laying in deep blacks and grayscale. Heavy skies, some form of emptiness and absence are also part of his images. He chose Black & White from the very beginning for its visual impact and timeless qualities. B&W is a force in itself. It suggests life but it also very graphic.
Cyrille aims at illustrating moments of life, from the most banal to the most eloquent. It is about showing Life as a whole, with a particular focus on urban scenes, hard and dry imagery but also poetry and some tenderness that can be found in megacities. His will is to go beyond appearances and capture intimate moments, where the natural comes out and become universal. A gesture, a look that makes a person similar to another one who lives on the other side of the planet.
The images of Cyrille Druart have no political purpose either, they show the world without judgment, but they can illustrate a form of meditation and questioning on the World.
The use of film also add to this imagery. Grain for instance creates a layer he describs as a way of shifting reality. Analog has a surface that can be scratched, and in the same time it clearly suggests a limit when a viewer looks at a photograph. It becomes an image in its own right, a graphic work, purely pictorial, where digital maintains this link with reality by showing things as they are. Also using film is more physical as you engage your whole body into post processing. Cyrille sees photography a two-act creation. First you take the picture, and then you turn it into a strong visual work. Therefore he can spend an entire day working on one image in order to achieve the final print. He is not interested in retouching/moving elements around or deleting. Having moved from the dark room and working with an enlarger to working with a software, he still applies the same process, dodging, burning and contrasting. [Cyrille Druart is represented by Galerie Philia, and his photographs are in particular on sale on 1stDibs ] [Official Website]