Travels, blur and urban vegetation. These are the subjects tackled by our readers picks #324: David Quesada and Anne-Claire Vimal du Monteil.

David Quesada

“A travelling photographer”. This is how David Quesada, an artist born in Barcelona, describes himself. Although he began his career as a graphic designer, he is now looking for “new paths and visions with photography”. His leitmotiv? Beauty in simplicity. Established in Chile, he continues to enjoy travelling, whatever the restrictions. The images he offers us here were taken during a trip between Belarus and Ukraine. “An observation of countrysides with regard to political revolutions”, the photographer comments. “When I arrived in Minsk, Belarus, last July, there was no Covid, no lockdown. People gathered to party in the streets. They were having fun until the revolution came. In Ukraine there were restrictions, but not as strict as in Central Europe,” he recalls. “While travelling in the East, I thought: “How heavy my feet become in order to slow down Death.” They called it social distancing. I guess these photos are about that distance. The distance that persists, that is admired and hated”. And when closeness arises, even if only for a short while, it becomes envied by those who can still observe it.

© David Quesada

Anne-Claire Vimal du Monteil

Anne-Claire Vimal du Monteil, a Parisian by birth and a Montrealer by adoption, is a graduate in Audiovisual studies and Art History. “Since 2016, I have been developing the artistic side of my photographic work”, confides the artist. At the heart of her approach are two recurring subjects: blur and urban vegetation. “When a reflection appears, when a distorting or transparent material interferes between me and my subject, I feel immense satisfaction at the sight of its new appearance. Something other than the tangible and rational vision of reality is then offered to me. I love its softness, its poetry, its openness, the freedom it gives to the viewer and interpreter. My approach is in line with pictorialism and impressionism. Here sensation and emotion take precedence over the precise representation of the subject”, she explains. As for her other favourite theme, the city-dweller who loves nature says: “It made me wonder about the relationship that modern Western society has long since established with nature. The ambivalence between dominance and love is expressed in the cities mainly in the form of pavement flowerbeds, small gardens and parks. Here nature is controlled and sculpted by humans for their enjoyment and well-being. How, with our knowledge of how plants work, can we develop our anthropocentrism towards a balanced and respectful relationship with the living world around us?”. A form of poetry that questions.

© Anne-Claire Vimal du Monteil