Polyphony by Maria Kreyn
Famous for shooting with large Polaroids, the Belgian photographer loves textures and a suggestive feel, moving away from the sharp and clinical edge of fashionable photography.
Designing his own sets and getting the right props is something that Lagrange is passionate about. The same applies to his locations, which he carefully researches until they fit his requirements.
Much attention to detail is given to sourcing a specific piece of furniture or type of cutlery to be laid out on a table. His banquet scenes, which are striking and festive at the same time, illustrate his ability to enhance precision while creating mood and atmosphere.
Lagrange’s work has been praised by critics and collected worldwide.
He has showcased his photographs through (solo) exhibitions, from Europe to the United States. His Extra Large Marc Lagrange show took place in Graz in 2012, occupying 3000 square meters.
In 2011, Maison Lagrange introduced more than 240 artworks to the public, many of them unseen. The retrospective lasted half a year. Several books have been published under his name, including Polarized by Ludion (2009), Marc Lagrange 20 by Lido (2011), XXML The Book (2012) and Diamond & Pearls that has been launched in 2013 in 80 countries by international publisher house teNeues.
Since the 1980s I have devoted my life and work to the art of photography. From the early 1990s I started to work with 8x10inch Polaroid film, my signature trademark. “It’s not only that I want to raise sensuality to a higher level, ‘glamour vibes’ without being explicit, as if every photo radiates an intrinsic atmosphere that we recognize but rarely experience...I want that each photograph remains a sort of abstract icon. This lies in the complexity of the relation between reality and the photographic image.”
Through a particular Polaroid technology, these images confirm their relation to a past reality. In that sense, these photographs are interesting because they stimulate both the desire to understand the world of beauty and to escape it. Therein lies the ambition: to place the durability and significant immobility of the photograph opposite the speed of our daily world. “My settings are places for dreams, for the imaginary to prevail. I give my ideas as much space as I can.”
While I prefer to be lost in the mystery of it all, I recognize that there is a single motive at work in my pictures: “I am always in search of beauty. This I know for sure. Beauty is something that attracts me completely – all the time – and pushes me far in search of something. In an industry that likes fashion grunge and heroin chic, my reverence for the beauty of my female muses has remained a constant. Based upon this, I try to succeed in seizing a fleeting moment, a tremor of emotion, which projects the women themselves into a timeless dimension – a classical and yet absolutely modern dimension of portraiture.