Eloi Du Bois (France) has attended the PORTRAIT workshop with Richard Dumas.
J'aime les histoires, en raconter et m'exprimer par le biais de l'art... J'ai exploré différents médias, avant de me tourner vers la photographie.
C'est à la fin d'un moyen métrage réalisé avec mes amis que j'ai décidé de m'investir dans la photographie. Aujourd'hui, je pense avoir enfin trouvé le domaine artistique qui me correspond le mieux. J'aime la photographie par les interrogations qu'elle peut provoquer chez le spectateur. Elle représente pour moi un défi intéressant où il faut raconter une histoire avec une image et sans paroles. J'aimerais approfondir ma connaissance du portrait car je trouve que l'être humain, par sa multitude, est un sujet magnifique. Je suis également un grand amateur de photo en studio, et si je le pouvais, j'aimerais travailler dans la photographie de mode.
International Center of Photography, NYC, United States of America
Eloi produced a very sensitive and serious body of work. His portraits are moving and intimate, the use of the light very intelligent and intuitive. I would focus on the closeness to the subject: Eloi’s best photographs are the ones where his subjects’ eyes become his subject.
My favorite image of them all, because I find it formally beautiful, personal, moving and unique, is the black and white portrait of the girl holding her legs (8) and looking in the distance. I love its predominantly white tone — very straightforward and metallic – mysterious, and faithful to what Eloi describes in his essay. I also very much like the color portrait with eyes closed (6), which again seems to be (cor)responding to Eloi’s questionings about portraiture — the Inside vs the Outside. The woman is the rubble (4) is also a very beautiful one, very metaphorical and delicate – perhaps a bit too mannered but in a very interesting way. As distant as we are from this woman, the intensity of the surroundings and the composition reduce the physical distance and enhance the emotional proximity to the subject.
The blue photographs are interesting but perhaps too easy, to similar to what we already know, too Wong Kar-wai or Sofia Coppola-esque, but then again Eloi comes from cinematography so it does make sense. Perhaps the subject matter seems too aware: one of the photographer’s main mission in taking a portrait is to have his or her subject forget himself, escape the camera. The intensely contrasted photograph of a woman (5) is a very striking one, but not very personal or original, I don’t think. Too pushy, and very « classic », again in a Hollywood kind if way. I do not find the blurry black and white image (7) particularly interesting either, maybe too far remote from what I would expect from Eloi, reading his intro and looking at his other photographs. I like the photograph of the bikers, but again, I think Eloi should focus – at least for a period of time – on the question of proximity and intimacy.
All in all, I would say that Eloi is a very talented portraitist. My advice to him would be to focus and not disperse himself: pick the form that corresponds the most to his own sensitivity, perhaps the most straightforward and the most intimate, that will allow him to extend his craft to its full potential.
Portraits are by essence utterly personal. They speak about you, they speak about them. Cartier-Bresson used to say that to make a good portrait you have to insert your camera between the skin and the shirt of your subjects. That’s what I feel in Eloi’s most delicate portraits and that is why I encourage him to move in this direction.