LAURENT BADESSI


LAURENT ELIE BADESSI WAS BORN IN FRANCE AND BELONGS TO A FAMILY WITH THREE GENERATIONS OF PHOTOGRAPHERS. FROM AN EARLY AGE, THIS ENABLED HIM TO EXPLORE AND APPRECIATE THE ART AND TECHNIQUES OF PHOTOGRAPHY.
AFTER STUDYING LANGUAGE AND COMMUNICATION SCIENCES, BADESSI ENROLLED IN A PHOTOGRAPHY COURSE AT UNIVERSITÉ DE PARIS VIII. ALREADY CURIOUS ABOUT THE RELATIONSHIP THAT DEVELOPS BETWEEN THE PHOTOGRAPHER AND THE SITTER, HE DECIDED TO BASE HIS M.A. THESIS ON THIS SUBJECT. TO EXPLORE THIS RELATIONSHIP FURTHER, HE USED THE TECHNIQUE OF “LA PHOTOGRAPHIE NÉGOCIÉE” (THE NEGOTIATED PHOTOGRAPHY) AND SPENT SEVERAL MONTHS IN AFRICA TAKING PHOTOGRAPHS OF ISOLATED TRIBES, THAT HAD NEVER OR VERY RARELY BEEN EXPOSED TO THE MEDIUM. FOR THIS PROJECT, HE RECEIVED THE PROMINENT “BOURSE DE L’AVENTURE” (THE ADVENTURE GRANT) AMONG SEVERAL OTHER GRANTS AND AWARDS.
BADESSI STARTED HIS CAREER IN PARIS AND THEN ABROAD, BEFORE MOVING, IN THE EARLY 90S, TO THE UNITED STATES.
IN 2000, AFTER SPENDING TEN YEARS FOCUSING ON THE BODY, SKIN THE BOOK OF THIS WORK, WAS INTERNATIONALLY RELEASED BY THE PRESTIGIOUS SWISS PUBLISHER EDITION STEMMLE. THE BOOK CONTAINS INTRODUCTION BY SONDRA GILMAN, FOUNDER AND CHAIRPERSON OF THE PHOTOGRAPHY COMMITTEE AT THE WHITNEY MUSEUM.


IN 2004, BADESSI WAS INVITED BY THE COMPANY CHARLES JOURDAN TO PRODUCE A SERIES OF PHOTOGRAPHS. BECAUSE OF THE EMBLEMATIC RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE MEDIUM OF PHOTOGRAPHY AND THIS BRAND, BADESSI ACCEPTED THE CHALLENGE. LIKE PHOTOGRAPHER GUY BOURDIN WHO HELPED BUILDING THIS STRONG RELATIONSHIP WITH HIS ICONIC IMAGES, BADESSI WAS ALSO GIVEN CARTE BLANCHE. TO BRING HIS OWN VISION, HE PLAYED WITH EROTICISM AND MYTHOLOGICAL SYMBOLISM, CREATING MEMORABLE VISUALS THAT ARE IN THE PERMANENT COLLECTION OF LE MUSÉE DES ARTS DÉCORATIFS IN PARIS, LOUVRE.
AT THE PICK OF THE IRAQ WAR, BADESSI CREATED “AMERICAN DREAM, THIS IS NOT A DREAM” (2006), A POWERFUL SERIES OF PORTRAITS BASED ON THE PROPAGANDIST CAMPAIGNS ELABORATED IN THE UNITED STATES TO ATTRACT NEW RECRUITS DURING THE IRAQ WAR. THE PROJECT WAS ACCLAIMED ABROAD AND WIDELY COLLECTED, BUT SEEN AS TOO CONTROVERSIAL IN THE STATES AT THE TIME BECAUSE OF THE TENSE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN MANY MILITARY FAMILIES AND THE GOVERNMENT. AS A RESULT, THE SERIES WAS NOT WIDELY EXHIBITED IN THE STATES. IN 2011 “AMERICAN DREAM, THIS IS NOT A DREAM” WAS SELECTED FOR THE PRESTIGIOUS ARTE LAGUNA PRIZE AND SHOWN AT THE VENICE ARSENALE.


BADESSI USES SYMBOLISM, MYTHOLOGY, AND HISTORICAL AND CULTURAL REFERENCES TO CREATE HIS IMAGES. THE STUDY OF TRUST THAT DEVELOPS BETWEEN THE PHOTOGRAPHER AND THE SITTER AND THE EXPLORATION OF THE POWER OF THE PHOTOGRAPHIC MEDIUM ON PEOPLE, ARE BOTH FUNDAMENTAL VECTORS IN HIS ARTISTIC QUEST. HIS WORK OFTEN ADDRESSES SUBTLE AND RELEVANT QUESTIONS ON SOCIAL, POLITICAL AND CULTURAL ISSUES, SUCH AS THE RELATIONSHIP WITH NUDITY, RELIGION, THE ENVIRONMENT, WAR OR THE FRAGILITY OF LIFE.
BADESSI’S PHOTOGRAPHS ARE PART OF MANY IMPORTANT PRIVATE AND PUBLIC COLLECTIONS. HE HAS RECEIVED SEVERAL PRESTIGIOUS AWARDS, INCLUDING A GRANT FROM THE FRENCH MINISTRY OF CULTURE FOR HIS PARIS SHOW “MÉTAMORPHOSES”. SOLO AND GROUP EXHIBITIONS OF HIS WORK HAVE TAKEN PLACE AROUND THE WORLD - NEW YORK, LOS ANGELES, BOSTON, MIAMI, LONDON, MILAN, ROME, PARIS, NICE, BARCELONA, KUWAIT CITY, BEIJING, MONACO AND DUBAI.
BADESSI LIVES AND WORKS IN NEW YORK CITY


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