It’s been quite a while since we hosted the last portfolio (for reasons pointed out formerly). I am quite sure anyone of you, when you see a hand-tinted BW photo, first thinks about Jan Saudek. Not wanting to be unjust about the Maestro-his photos deserve admiration-but there are others (albeit few) masters of hand-tinted BW photos, including the young French photographer Mathieu Noir, currently residing in Wellington (New Zealand). The only trouble with the young masters of the hand-coloring technique, including Mathieu, is that they are not as famous as the great Saudek. I hope Mathieu will gain the due recognition among the photo community. But there’s more about Mathieu’s work; he also tastefully masters the art of pull-developing his negatives-take a look at the “creamy” highlights of his “regular” BW photos-and, last but not least, the almost forgotten art of analog photo manipulation (no Photoshop whatsoever). He uses several negatives (even shot in different places or countries) and combines them during the printing process. About the latter technique, he states “I like the idea of capturing places or moments that never met to achieve one photograph”- so true. He started to do these photo manipulation techniques because both pre-visualization and post-visualization abilities are obviously required. He also says about the matter: “The photographs I make can be aesthetically coherent, but I try to create then in order to be read such as independent visual poetry.” I agree. And to point out is also the fact that all this striking results have been made using rented darkrooms, not his own (not having one a the moment). We can only wish Mathieu to get a lucky strike soon, to be able to settle his own “sacred place”, i.e. the darkroom.
Besides Saudek, his influences range broadly, from the early anonymous photographers, as well as numerous Eastern-European photographers, such as, Vojtech V. Slama, Josef Sudek, and other various like Ouka Lele, Sarah Moon, Doisneau and so on.
Mathieu’s other work can be seen on his website. His wish is to make a photography exhibition at Toi Poneke Art Gallery entitled “Hand Colored Visions and Skies”. And we just hope this exhibition will be soon. Enjoy his work!