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John batho

Photographer

"Deauville, a unique place where light plays an essential role"

Born in 1939 in Normandy, John Batho began to photograph in 1961. Beyond the factual and the subject, his work is based on color, on its power of attraction, its specificity, its way of disturbing or surprising perception. The color is not really captured, rather it captures the viewer. Original, it cannot be reduced to the image of itself. It is photographed, however, the photographer reports the effects, prolongs the vibration. John Batho capitalized on the invention of digital printing. His freedom, his precision allowed him, from 1993, to develop his work and to perfect his previous works.

In 1977, John Batho began to photograph the parasols of Deauville, at a time when black and white dominated the photographic production exhibited in museums. The photographer is then in full search and in search of "places of color". He wants to register the color for " what it is » "A constitutive and constructive datum of the photographic image". Deauville beach is a must. “I don't know of any other beach where the color order is so present being distributed so randomly. " In close-up, in fragments by aligning them, he restores their forms and color variations with a unique sensitivity and principles of series. For the first time, in the summer of 2015, the first retrospective of John Batho's parasols showed around forty of his shimmering large-format works, all produced in Deauville.

For John Batho " photograph these parasols, their shapes and their colors, it is to try to restore how the architecture of color is organized in space. It is to build rhythms of colors and share them in a joyful way, by finding the same spontaneity that would arouse a box of paint spilled on the beach.Deauville parasols have been photographed sporadically for many years, He says. My point is not linked to an iconographic concern: the parasols are a motif which, constantly repeated, makes it possible to test the gaze. Confronting a subject like this forces us to think about what still surprises us, to think about the desire to add, to photograph again, whereas at first glance it always seems the same. It is a reflection on the insistence of perception, on the variations of light, on the unforeseen events of the motif, on the astonishment of meeting what had not yet been seen. The attention to the architecture of shapes and colors in space led me to question photography as a subject in itself. I was then concerned with the materiality of the image, looking for a touch of the eyes for this art that is said to be without matter, questioning its ability to restore the tactility of canvases and sand, the smoothness of the sky, depending on the time. and the days, in the fine light of a seaside bathing the whole. »

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