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Eric Marrian was born in 1959. In 2003, he decided to return to his first love, photography, a discipline he had hesitated to pursue as a profession at the end of his studies in architecture. At this time, he began a series on Saint Malo, then moved on to studio photography. At the end of 2005, he began a studio series produced in large and medium format, based on a graphic and surrealist approach to the nude. From this approach will be born the Carré Blanc series, which will never leave. Asexual representation of nude photography, to shape a purely graphic, structured representation, devoid of any erotic tension, this series aims to be ascetic, desensualized. He strives, through this art and this function, to make the spectator forget the primary function by making him retain only the graphic function, while creating this surreal dynamic. With Eric Marrian, the model is partial, minute and infinite.


The curves and lines become absolute and excessive because they extend beyond the physical framework, the surrounding space, in a cold aesthetic, like a desire to further purify the body, to bring it back to the state of matter, raw and inert, to better define and shape it. The bodies are thus fashioned in the image of the sculptor, having fun with a deceived spectator, deliberately putting him in trouble in order to serve him better. With the first images of this series, he won the 2006 prize at the European festival of nude photography in Arles. He has since continued this series, finding new inspirations over the months. This work is now recognized worldwide, and has been exhibited and published many times in France and abroad. Known and followed by many advertisers, he developed a view of the world of fashion by signing his first editorials in early 2010. During 2011, he started a new project based on the use of large format color instant films. He is also a Fuji brand ambassador for digital X cameras and Instax products.


How was the Carré Blanc series born?
Like many, I started by doing photojournalism, which is the best way to progress. However, the formalism of the studio tempted me for a long time, and so I ended up giving in to it. I therefore approached a photo club thanks to which I was able to forge enriching links with many photographers. As such, I started working in the camera. This new technical choice imposes on you a change of methodology, a more formal approach to the image. From the first tests carried out, I quickly concentrated on this graphic research, on the very particular tones which are specific to this series today, with this very light beige and this absolute black, nuances which allow me to move away usual canons of nude photography. The sexual or erotic connotation that we see in the majority of approaches to the nude does not really interest me very much. Now, finding innovative ways in this area is not easy. If this series came naturally, without really thinking about what had been done, I still had acquired references in this field: Man Ray, Eikoh Hosoe, or Harry Callahan to name only the best known. What was surprising was that this approach resulted in images that were repeated over the years. Now, I feel all the more comfortable as this series brings together many creative constraints: Use of limited colorimetry, square format, etc…. Having these barriers frames your work, but at the same time is an endless source of inspiration. I did another session a few days ago after a hiatus of several months, and it was immediate. You discuss with a model, while she begins to strike a pose, and very quickly you stop her to freeze an image that you had never done, even though I have been working on this series for a good 10 years... L elegance, for you, what is it? This word has no meaning for me when it is attached to an artistic expression. It can be a nude photo of Robert Mapplethorpe, for example, while some people will cry foul when they see this work. If I have to use this word, I could link it to the work of Pierre and Gilles, who have a vision that I find very sophisticated, with assumed references to the history of art, combined with a discourse of great richness. . Elegance is there for me.

Do you claim a desexualization of your photography?
Above all, I assume a surrealist interpretation. You can absolutely frame a female sex close-up, and take a photo that brings you to an exclusively graphic perception. You no longer see the subject, but what the author wanted to show you. Conversely, you can formalize a very raw image, with perfectly innocuous body parts. Ask a woman to get down on her knees and rest her shoulders on the floor. If you photograph that back at that moment, you'll get the perfect image of a phallus. Pierre Louÿs was the first to take this photograph. Man Ray also did it with Lee Miller I believe, and there are reinterpretations of it regularly. Finally, rather than desexualization, we must speak of denaturation, the body is rather to be integrated as a writing tool. Afterwards, it's up to each author to tell his own story, whatever it is...

- Find the continuation of Eric Marrian inNormal Magazine #5-

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