Whether the sun-kissed skin of youths in their prime or the petals of a dying flower, Paris-based photographer Jacques Brun uses light as both a structural and metaphorical tool in his image-making. “A photographer is a kind of hunter who tries to catch and control light, an untouchable pray, to speak about shape, time and feelings,” the ECAL graduate tells It’s Nice That. “This raw and precious material allows me to sublimate everyday things from life into a unique sculpture or transform anecdotal moments into timeless stories.”
Browsing through Jacques portfolio, he’s not wrong. Beams of sunlight make the puckered skin of a lime look sensuously flesh-like, or the flowing curves of an elaborate chandelier appear like a 3D digital render. “Light can act as a clue,” Jacque continues. “It reveals something that the viewer doesn’t see or expresses a feeling out of frame and points to the unknown.”
Jacques’ work often focuses on still life and fashion, but he often draws on cues from classical painting to “express a metaphoric quest for the myths and dreams of the past and present”. He enjoys exploring archetypes like the femme fatale, journeys of expectation and different forms of intimacy found in the everyday.
A good example of Jacques interest in journeys is his latest personal project After Anna, a set of island-based images that follow the photographer as he searches for a mysterious fictional woman lost at sea. “I drew inspiration for my journey from The Odyssey when Ulysses tries desperately to reunite with Penelope, and by the brutal disappearance of Anna in the film L’Avventura directed by Michelangelo Antionioni,” Jacques says. Shot off Sicily, the series explores the endless possibilities of what could have befallen this missing maiden.
What’s noticeable about Jacques’ work whether he’s shooting fashion commissions, fruit or his dreamy epics, is the way he perfectly captures transience. From his shots you get the impression that Jacques has captured the full ripeness of a moment – something fleeting that will never be as good again. “Everything is moving, born to disappear," says Jacques, of his practice. "What a wonderful quest to look at things and say, ‘Woo, that’s beautiful’ before it’s gone.”