Julie Gauthier

Julie Gauthier

Fine art photography

by Julie Gauthier (Canada)

Statement. Hmmm! I don’t know if we can call this an artist statement! Let’s say I’ll tell you a little bit about myself, my work. I work as a portrait photographer and my personal work is more concentrated on indoor environments. But let’s just talk about portraits here! If one day I become a fine artists and then people want to know what’s on my mind, I’ll let them know but as of today, I’m enjoying having the best job in the world and I will never stop doing it unless I go blind!

Portfolio from the Fine Art Photography workshop with Roger Ballen, September 2013.

Written review by PAULINE VERMARE,
Associate Curator, International Center of Photography

What an exciting and lively portfolio! Your statement and your images are very bubbly and your level is extremely consistent. Your photographs are unique, a little crazy, in a very good way - extravagant - and I can see that indeed you choose the environment according to your subject, which makes for very special portraits. I think most of your images are very strong.

I am particularly drawn to the craziest photo - or is it the craziest looking subject matter - photo number 4. As obvious as it is – it could be a very bad picture, too obvious or too anecdotic is not always attractive or successful – it works fantastically. Your distance is ideal, and obviously the lines are perfect, adding folly to the craziness of the man. It is a very striking image. Image 5 is also very powerful; it is asking a question, just like the previous one. Looking at it you can’t help but wonder what and who you are looking at. The composition is also excellent, as well as the distance.

I think overall you have the perfect relationship to your models, a perfect dosage of respect and humor that makes for very intelligent portraits. Image 7 is also one of my favorite for this reason – the wit, the good use of the subject and his environment. The combination of the two results in a very pleasant and amusing scene, almost a cartoon, or a piece of contemporary art - a good one, not too conceptual – some sort of Magritte- like poetry. Image 8 is also very poetic, a Banksy, images within the images, and a very spontaneous subject that doesn’t seem too self-aware.

This is also one aspect that I love about your work: the playfulness of your subject – you are obviously interacting with them, giving them space to forget, to be themselves, to play with you and forget that they are being photographed. Image number 2 is very moving, perhaps the most sensitive and melancholy of your portraits. And image 1 is a fantastic portrait, lyrical, very well composed – the line in the back is a wonderful element, adding depth to it, and a cartoon-esque dimension to it as well.

The weakest images, to me, are the ones that are perhaps a little too “paused”, less spontaneous, like image 9, that “screams” too much for my taste. Image 10 could have been good, but I feel like the subject is not strong enough – I cannot really see what I am looking at, and I can see the effort of the composition too much: the search for the perfect pause and the environment is too obvious, not spontaneous enough.

Perhaps a close-up would have made it work better. Image 6 is fun but too confusing for me, although I like the fact that it is a color photo that looks like a black and white. Image 5 is a little too blend for my taste, it lacks the punch of your greater images, but it is a good portrait, somehow a good portrait for a fashion magazine or an album cover. Same with image 3: “cool”, but not as strong as your best photos.

I really loved your portfolio and congratulate you on your excellent skills and brilliant imagination. It is a beautiful visual and human universe you took me into, a poetic world made of unique characters shot in very unique ways. I would love to see more of your portraits in the future.

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