In a garden of Eden, hidden away from the world, Martin Colombet and his lover Tess have created a magical and simpler universe. Known for his press work and celebrity portraits, the photographer also works on longer and more intimate projects. “Tess and I unite in the indifference of the world, in places hostile to the civility of adults but where the wildness of children can be fully expressed”, he told us when his series Blue Bayou was featured in Fisheye n°47. Just like in this intimate and poetic project, the artist usually favours a traditional approach when producing his images – as highlighted by his use of the calotype, an ancient and fundamentally manual technique, which slows down the tempo of his images – and his life. “I like to mix different generations of cameras, it allows me to travel in time”, he explained to us. Out of the world, and out of time, Martin Colombet tells stories and distills his dreams. But what do you really know about him? Find some answers in his Chinese portrait!
If you were…
One of your pictures?
My lover Tess, sitting on the dead tree in the river – to be found in my work Blue Bayou.
My cat, Emile. He died almost three years ago and was buried on an island facing Tess’s house, and so, as not to forget him, I photographed his funeral.
A photographic genre?
Nuptials, by Albert Camus
Someone you would like to work with?
Blending together photography and music with Sofiane Pamart.
© Guillaume Blot
A piece of music?
Smog’s album A River ain’t too much to love.
The pianist Glenn Gould, for the freedom and total non-conformism he was able to invent in a world saturated with constraints.
And I also really like VALD. Behind the clownish facade, there is a real depth in his lyrics – especially in his lesser-known songs. He’s the kind of guy who drops huge things in the middle of stupid sentences, he’s a modern version of Harlequin. He plays with different masks to blur his message – dark and illusion-free. He has enormous creativity and his role as a troll has taught me that you don’t necessarily have to take yourself seriously to get ahead. I had the chance to photograph him and he was just as I thought he would be. He spent the interview holding his head, just like that. I didn’t make him move. It took me less than 30 seconds to take his portrait.
A piece of clothing?
An Instagram account?
@Doggodoingthings, to see doggos doing things.
The Fountainebleau forest.
A perfect photoshoot?
Bob Dylan in the 1960s.
I’ve also been dreaming of photographing Benoît Poelvoorde for a long time now, but unfortunately for me, it was my friend Boby who had the chance to do it.
I broke a window with my ass at Jean Marie Bigard’s when I took this photo.
I’ve travelled a lot, but I’ve always wanted to come back to France.