by Ida Commin
This week, we decided to draw your attention to an emerging Parisian photographer; Keffer. Far from being approved unanimously, Keffer’s pictures of Parisian nightlife create a wide diversity of reactions, from irritation to fascination.
It is with his project Jour de Nuit that Keffer’s work began to be looked upon at closer scrutiny. His idea was to give his own perception of Paris’ nightlife through forty black and white pictures. The artist found that the pictures he saw from Parisian parties were all showing boring people and boring places. Rather than criticizing, this art director decided to take his camera and to start his own chronicle. When he began his project in 2008, he considered that there were a few photographers taking pictures in nightclubs, and that people were not as afraid as today to find out they ended up having proof of their drunken nights published on Facebook or elsewhere on the Internet.
The night has always been an inspiring theme for artists. In painting for instance, we can find many examples of the fascination for the night; Nighthawks by Edward Hopper, Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh, the Night Watch by Rembrandt, are some of the most famous examples of this attraction. Choosing such a cliché theme was therefore ambitious for an emerging artist because of the difficulty to innovate. Nevertheless, Keffer managed to produce some interesting pictures, staging an eclectic Parisian crowd. Paris is mostly known for its beautiful architecture, romantic atmosphere and must-see monuments, so showing the other side of the coin can be looked upon as an interesting approach to an overused theme.
For his most recent project, Paysage Noir, Keffer remains in his favorite thematic: the night. But this time, the photograph chose to leave the crowed nightclubs for rediscovering some emblematic places of Paris (the Eiffel tower, the Luxembourg gardens…). It is dark, less trendy, less agitated than the mad nights of Jour de Nuit, and also, one could argue, much more interesting than his previous projects. Maybe the artist is trying to get rid of his label of “Parisian hipster and party-animal”, which most of the people who had heard of his work associate him to. No matter what his motivation is, the pictures are worth seeing and can be found on his personal website, http://www.kround.com.