Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Let's go to the circus - Part 3

Jose Antonio Martinez – Circus 2007

Born in 1950, Mexican photographer Jose Antonio Martinez was once a student of Mary Helen Mark. Maybe that’s when he got his inspiration for his circus series… Initially an industrial designer, Martinez has dedicated his personal artistic work to transforming death into life and horror into beauty. He’s had more than 20 solo and group exhibitions in Mexico and the US.
Despite the fact that many of his subjects are quite dark, related to death and religious matters, he always tries to find aesthetic values in the scene he photographs to overcome his emotional feeling.
In his circus series he worked hard to capture, quoting author John Irving ‘a life of great daring and relentless hard work’. The main difficulty of photographing circus artists is probably to overcome the clichés and to create new interesting images never seen before. His portraits of the performers in different formats including landscape images succeed in showing the pride and love of these artists for their work. 

More on Jose Antonio Martninez :

Philippe Lopparelli – quel cirque?
The last photographer that I wanted to feature is a French photojournalist, member of the Tendance Floue Collective.
He has spent 2 years touring with a traditional French circus, getting to know the performers, sharing their practices and shows, trying to understand their enigmatic world. Together with Marie-Pierre Losfeld they published a book in 1996 to tell about their incredible journey.

 ‘Their photography evokes the idea that this unique art perpetrates an ideal: that of daily efforts, which have survived in an age where people are mostly drawn towards contemporary forms of entertainment.’ 

 Through a documentary approach in very contrasted square black and white images, Philippe Loparelli transmits the magical atmosphere of the stage and the strange spirit of behind the scenes. Watching his images we feel like both spectators and cast-members, we get a bit closer to understanding this ‘traveler’ way of life, which today seems of another age.

 More on Philippe Lopparelli:

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