A campaigning photographer who “consciously pays witness to the metamorphoses of our humanity”, Gérard Rancinan takes pictures of his contemporaries and deciphers the behaviours and movements of our societies. The artist lends a critical eye to our modern world, in its excess and inconsistency, in an altogether unique allegorical and theatrical style by casting new light on artworks from different eras.
But this critical approach to painting our world, to which he has accustomed his followers, is nowhere to be seen at Chaumont-sur-Loire, where Rancinan has instead chosen to present wholly unusual bouquets in the Domaine's Donkey Stables, spilling out with wilted flowers long past it in scenes of real-life “still lifes” as it were.
This series was created in partnership with the journalist and writer Caroline Gaudriault.
Gérard Rancinan was born in the Bordeaux region and started out as a photographer for the Sygma press agency, soon becoming one of their pioneers. Throughout this career spell he travelled the world, often with a front-seat view, witnessing first-hand the calamities befalling the world. From natural catastrophes, civil or ethnic wars to urban riots, he sought to capture the complexity of the human condition right from within, along with the ups and downs that shape it.
Driven by an urgent need for expression and eager for more freedom, Rancinan quickly broke out on his own, thenceforth revealing the challenges of our world quite brilliantly through the prism of an ever-changing visual creation.
He does away with borders and alternates between photographing for communication campaigns, investigating the headline sagas for the international press and taking portraits. His images of athletes, artists and men of the faith or of power have become icons. In his attempt to look at things from a different angle, he heads out in the field or into real-life settings which come across as full-on enactments of the world we live in.
Gérard Rancinan's work fits squarely into the realm of photography, which he has chosen as his means of expression and action. For him, a photographer is above all an instrument for thought, casting an alert eye over our times and finding a justified, lasting place in contemporary art. In this way Rancinan veers away from conventional photography, walking a unique rather than solitary path.
Gérard Rancinan’s work is on show in a great many galleries and museums worldwide and forms part of several prestigious private collections of contemporary art.