Our readers picks #326, Charlène Hfr and Claudio Cristini both explore psychological and philosophical themes. The first captures human states of mind, and the second, the otherness of reality.

Charlène Hfr

Charlène Hfr, 20, is a psychology student who received her first camera at the age of 8. “I was lucky enough to have travelled a lot when I was young, photography is always about memory: I was – and still am – afraid of forgetting what I am going through”, she tells us. So, she began a visual diary, capturing what she saw to better encapsulate the emotions her discoveries triggered in her. Today, the artist from Strasbourg focuses more on portraiture. “I like to put people at the heart of my creations, states of mind particularly touch me – it is undoubtedly for this reason that I study psychology”, she explains. Using both digital and film cameras, Charlène Hfr channels her love of cinema to create theatrical images. “I also like the processing work, whether it’s adding grain or transforming colours. I want to represent the world with my own nuances”, she says. In her images, she delicately shows notions that speak to her: “time, love, melancholy, and me, in the middle of it all”, concludes the photographer.

© Charlène Hfr

Claudio Cristini

I’m in love with photography; it is my way to celebrate life and to delve into the complexity of existence. To me, it has always represented the opportunity to get out of myself, to dive into someone else’s eyes and to forget myself in communion with nature. Photography can register appearances and let reality keep its alterity. I like to let it manifest itself, it pleases me to sense how it moves and changes. I’m moved by this fatality”, Claudio Cristini tells us. The artist discovered the medium in high school and quickly used it as a tool to explore “reality as it appears to us”. Through many encounters – with an art collective, alongside director Luca Ferri or at the Glasgow School of Art – he has developed his own aesthetics. Although he likes to navigate different subjects, certain elements stand out as recurrences in his body of work. Among them, “the intimate intercourse between humans and nature in the sense of expressing a common and ancestral link between them”. In Water Body, for example, Claudio Cristina studies water and its multiple forms when it comes into contact with the human body. Drawing on anthropological, philosophical and mythological narratives, the photographer constructs abstract, poetic works “between contemporaneity and timeless themes”.

© Claudio Cristini

Cover picture: © Charlène Hfr