Saturday, February 12, 2011

PATRICK DEMARCHELIER: An artistic genius


Patrick Demarchelier
It is almost as if two new life forms are being born. It reverses the old ‘two become one’ adage. The water breaths with youth and innocence and the two faceless figures emerge from the water without any burdens of the world. The women are totally separate, yet somehow seem entwined, breaking from a clasp, perhaps the clasp of reality. The nudity removes all materialism, a different concept for photographer Patrick Demarchelier who has created images around the world’s iconic brands and models time and time again. By removing all materialistic aspects, Demarchelier enters an effervescent realm of sexuality and freedom. The figures appear revitalised and pure. The fluidity with which you feel their movements merges these humans with the water. It is almost as if they do not think, they do not feel. Everything is erased.
The reflection of light on the model’s figures as the only element touching them adds to this majestic sense of life. Rather than appearing as simply a reflection, the light emanates from the bodies as you would imagine it to shine from an angelic being. The black and white enhances the honesty of the characters, removing any realism and making the image almost iconic. This notoriety is true to Demarchelier himself, a symbolic figure in the fashion realm.
We see the life as a distant observer, watching this re-birth as almost an entirely novel experience. The image seems almost like a religious experience, a reincarnation of life. Not only is this image incredibly ethereal and calming but it gives the viewer hope of an easier life. Because it cannot be said that life is ever easy or simple. You feel as if you are an intruder on a stunning and exclusive show, very similar to how you may feel watching a woman have her first child: completely isolated, yet intrigued and captivated by this moving experience.
Demarchelier breaks away from the materialism of the fashion world and the high-end market he usually works for by bringing his art to the bare minimum in this series of images. He manages to create deeply emotional pictures without utilising the obvious methods that are usually used, such as colour, clothing and background. In this he furthers the artistic aesthetic of the series: the simplicity of new life without the materialisms of the modern day society is often the most beautiful thing of all. 

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