This week, we’re focusing on two French photographers: Olivier Marchesi and Max Guy-Joseph. The former is fascinated by humanist photography and the latter by surrealism and abstraction. Here are our readers picks #245.

Olivier Marchesi

French photographer born in 1977, Olivier Marchesi turned to photography after studying political sciences at university. He is a member of Hans Lucas studio, and exhibited his series in France and in Russia, where he has lived for four years. There, he developed his project Pour vous, il n’existe ni patrie ni exil (To you, there is no homeland nor exile, ed.), a book mixing photographs with soviet writings. Fascinated by humanist photography, the artist abandoned his favourite subject, people, for landscapes, to capture the country. Using lith developers, an ancient method of black and white printing resembling engraving, Olivier Marchesi adds a pictorial dimension to his images. Minimal and misty, his pictures sublimate a cold and wild nature – the landscape of a faraway land. A beautiful tribute to Russian culture and its territory.

© Olivier Marchesi

Max Guy-Joseph

Behind the pseudonym Max Guy-Joseph hides a 38-year-old Bordeaux based man who has been practicing photography for around 20 years. “This practice came to me by chance, since my father – a sucker for photography – owned several film and digital cameras. He passed on many of his hobbies to me, especially photography. Today, it has become a passion, a need, a drug”, he explains. Over the last two years, the artist has turned to graphic composition. “Multiple exposure, reflection, texture, shadows and lights, my pictures modestly try to transcribe – in film or digital – a reality linked to the infinitely small, the details as well as printing techniques.” Early on, he was marked by surrealism, abstraction and the works of artists such as Man Ray, Brassaï, André Kertész, Jackson Pollock, Jean-Michel Basquiat and many more. “I often construct my images as if they were abstract paintings, where forms interact and become complementary”, he adds.

© Max Guy-Joseph