From a young age, Xavier Blondeau was a follower of photography, or it may be more accurate to say photography followed him. Photography informed the important landmarks of his life: the polaroids of childhood, intimate peeks at his family in countless Kodak moments—roll after roll of film and eventually pixels forming the undergirding that built his life experiences. At 16 he leapt forward and discovered the blue sky of photography, for him the "ultimate light box of the minds eye," allowing him to enter an arena of exploration with vistas long and wide eventually landing him in the digital darkroom.
Blondeau learned to use the capacity of photography to remove our shortcomings that block the expression of the urgent imagination by realizing his vision and ideas into the form of powerful artworks. Despite the remoteness of his many relations with photography in the past, their lyric and personally charged paths continue to cross and intersect.
"Présence Obscure" is a search in which Xavier Blondeau currently pursues with great vigor and mastery. There are places or situations in which, despite the absence of any human entity, there is a presence beyond the objects captured by photography. This "dark" presence resonates as the afterglow of the recent past and reveals a different dimension requiring a human footprint to exist. In his work the darkness of the night and the infant early morning mist smuggle us to another ghostly plane. In the series "Présence Obscure" Blondeau reveals a sublime and evanescent alternate world that quietly exists with persistence in balance with the noise and struggle of daily life.
© 2014 Xavier Blondeau
In the artist's words:
Does man develop himself through his environment or is he first and foremost, by essence, defined by his inner nature? The question presented itself directly... Building on a number of adult education programs, I set out to provide my own intimate answer through series of photographs. I started this work by capturing the gestures of actors through their scenography. This led to my first public exhibition, ‘From stage to image’.
The next series, called ‘Opal’, explored Man’s privacy, through a form of sleek nudity akin to that of ancient Greek statues. The ‘Imprint’ and ‘Silhouette’ series are abstract works which strive to reveal Man’s innermost nature. The ‘Bad weather on the road’ series offers an off-the-beaten path look at a daily, mundane event: getting on the road. This road movie slowly morphs into wandering, a quest for reference points in a world which has become alien.
The ‘Shadowy presence’ series takes a closer look at urban landscapes at night. The images from this series, although devoid of human presence, inexorably loop back to Man. As if the artificial environment he has built, which seems to contradict his human nature, still left its unwavering imprint.
© 2014 Xavier Blondeau