François Pages

Following on from my reading of The Colour of Time, I have begun using the images utilised as a a basis for further reading and research.

The first name I looked into is a photographer who would most likely be described as portrait artist today.

I have found little online regarding François Pages, but it is clear from the works attached to his name that his career was varied and prestigious.

The majority of the work I have seen has been dual credited with a French magazine Paris Match. From what I see, the magazine would be akin to the Hello magazine here in the UK. The main differences in terms of the photography is that it is unusual to be dual credited with the photographer. And that it appears clear that the briefs for the work were a lot ‘looser’ than one would expect for this type of publication. Today the quality of work is more akin to high fashion publications such as i-D.

Several of François’ subject were from the Hollywood a-list of the 1950s & ‘60s. These included Brigitte Bardot and Jane Fonda, who can be seen in the images I have selected below.

Brigitte Bardot, 1957

This portrait of Bardot just empitomises my own personal goals as a photographer. The casualness to the scene, natural light softly filling the frame whilst leaving what’s beyond the window a mystery and finally a subject who is well known and understood but presented in a way which makes her relatable, almost vulnerable in this ‘normal’ circumstance

Jane Birkin & Serge Gainsburgh, 1969

This image I chose for the onlookers behind the subjects. The distance created by the wet screens separating what I assume to be the public onlooking highlighting the differences between their lives yet, the looks captured on the subjects faces normalise them. Laughter from Serge and Borden/disdain from Jane. Something I feel we miss now in contemporary photography where the ‘image’ is everything. The brand or project always needing a polished product.

Jane Fonda, 1963

Another image I selected for the normality displayed. A simple joy of sharing a moment with a dog. It’s an event we can all relate to. A sign of the times no doubt, a time when the world felt free from the woe of war and to go against the system or corporatism and government was heightened.

Algiers Riots, 1956

This final image is from The Colour of Time, at first I was drawn to the image for the smoke wrapped around the protestor. I enjoyed the framing of the subjects, how the space around them turns the riot into a battle between two people, one in uniform one in a workers clothing. The reason I followed up on this particular photographer was not that I felt the image was ground breaking in itself but that it was published by Paris Match in 1956 which itself felt significant for such a provocative image to be published in a magazine which is famous for its whimsical portraits of the elite.

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