Christian Lacroix describes Grégoire Alexandre’s photography as being like ‘contemporary poetry’. Equal parts installation artist, illusionist, set designer and, in Lacroix’s eyes, poet, the young Parisian is certainly more than just a photographer. He’s also been a Wallpaper* contributor for a while so naturally we took special time out to visit his exhibition at Arles.

Gregoire Alexandre

Click here to see more of the exhibition.
Exhibiting in the Atelier de Mecanique, a generous sized space in the Parc des Ateliers, Alexandre is showing a substantial selection of his work, shot between 2002 and 2008. He has intentionally left the photographs without captions, titles or dates, to remove them from the context of their original commissions so people take each image at face value.
In each photograph the composition is the key element and clearly the photographer's forte. By playing with different scales, light and dark, emptiness and clutter, natural and artificial objects he creates sets that are like full-scale art installations, painstakingly put together for the final image.
You’d be forgiven for thinking that he must employ a bevy of brilliant retouchers, given how minutely theatrical so many of his photographs are. Rather than digital enhancement though, Alexandre uses traditional artifices to create his illusions and hence his photographs seem all the more poetic for their reality. And minus the context of a caption, date, commission or any information but the pictures themselves it’s that much easier to appreciate the sheer skill involved.