What’s your favorite daily ritual?
I don’t really have any, but every morning when I make my coffee I enjoy my view of the Sacré-Cœur standing over Paris, often with a sunrise… and it feels like a good start.
What do you do when you are not working with FvF?
My photography work is quite recent to be honest. But it became very important to me very quickly so I spend the time needed looking for ideas or getting better technically. Other than that I have a job, that I try to keep inspiring and constructive. But I’ve chosen to disconnect it with my photography work.
Where do you go when you want to relax or get inspired in your city?
We’re fortunate in Paris to have spectacular places to see art, and the Musée d’Orsay is my favorite. Also, I would recommend Le Bal. The shows are fantastic, the staff are great, the library is a dream and there’s also a bar. What else can you ask for? I’m also very enthusiastic about Düo, a new photography venue that just opened in the 11th district.
How has technology influenced you?
The tremendous amount of images available is a blessing for inspiration of course, but it has also made the viewer’s attention span extemely limited. So yes, it may be easier for everyone – including myself – to make pictures now, and share them, but making them stand out is quite something else. In my opinion, the way an image speaks to viewers can make the difference, so I try to give them a personal tone. Technology is also changing what photography actually is. I see some very interesting projects coming out from street view images, crowd-sourced journalism, all that raw matter that is conceptualized and turned to art photography. Artists like Thomas Mailaender, or Jon Rafman are very interesting in that sense.
Best travel memory?
That’s a tough one. I would have to mention the Amalfi coast, where I had some of the most relaxing moments possible, took in incredible landscapes and villages, and most of all, I felt like I was falling in love again with my girlfriend Lucie.
What makes Paris special and for you personally?
For example, the way Parisians observe each other. They try to have the quickest glance at any passerby, or someone joining them, keeping unnoticed as if they couldn’t care less or they were above such judgements. It’s a funny behaviour, and almost charming because it feels like we are a little ashamed of observing these looks over here. I think it’s more obvious and assumed in New York for example.
Your latest artistic discovery (musical, art or design)?
It is not the latest but I should mention Etudes Studio. These guys nailed it. For those who don’t know Etudes yet and it won’t last long, it started as a multi-discipline studio, run by Jeremie Egry and Aurelien Arbet. I was aready mad about their fashion collections, particularly for the cuts, patterns, and general inspiration. I thought they were very unique. Then, not only did they continue to become even more desirable as the collections went on, but they also developed a photography-focused edition house, with Nicolas Poillot from JSBJ. They print some of the best contemporary photo books I see around and always go out of stock really quickly. The artists they show are very innovative and as they master photography so well. Etudes’ lookbooks are of course mind-blowing too. I love this brand because it is so cool to wear clothes that carry a special approach, but also it feels like you are supporting a general idea, extended to an artistic activity at the same time. I don’t know them personally, this is from the heart. They’re simply the best.
What was the last great meal you ate & where?
I’m lucky enough to share my life with a very talented person who makes every dinner incredible. Next to her regular job as graphic designer, Lucie created Petit Comite with her mother Marie. It is a private restaurant in the 10th district. They host wonderful dinners there and also create food events outside. So all I can say is that meals at home or even the simplest “tartine” is something I’m very lucky for and all my friends envy me, and of course they’re often invited to enjoy some too. I give a hand when I can, but most of the time she won’t even let me – I’m terrible at it! Apart from home there are also great places to eat in Paris as you know. Recently, Playtime was again an excellent choice.
Three websites – more or less – you visit daily?
You know what, I check lememe ! I must confess. It’s full of stupid shit from the internet, it is totally unproductive I know, but man it is so good. Other than that, I would mention itsnicethat that remained one of my favorites. Their team have great taste and an impressive expertise of what’s fresh among the visual arts and it’s often where I first discover talents.
Who would you like to see featured next on FvF?
I think it would be great to feature someone more or less famous, but known for one activity, like an actor, gallerist, musician, or designer but showing us his or her lab or studio where another skill is developing such as painting, crafting goods – another exploration of their talent.
What photographers or artists have influenced you the most?
My tastes are diverse, so I guess my influences are too. I can think of Stephen Shore, Paul Graham, but also Luigi Ghirri, the Impressionnists, ideas from artists like Sophie Calle, or Miranda July, the details painted by Gérard Schlosser. I often feel inspired by lyrics, too. And Babo is definitely and inspiration. He was my girlfriend’s grandfather and I had the incredible chance to know this man alive and well, for a few years before he passed away. He opened my eyes. He had an unforgettable taste for life.
Whats your favorite picture on FvF?
I remember one especially that made me think. It was a long time ago and I struggled to find it among the hundreds of interviews on FvF. It was Clara Balaguer. The whole series was great by the way and it was her on top of a building at night, facing the city lights. A cinematographic kind of shot.
What’s your favorite portrait on FvF?
I was stunned by the one with a 100 year old lady. Impressive. What a life, and she looked so radiant in the pictures. I hope I will be surrounded with such an environment myself when I grow old. And I simply wish I’ll be in such a good condition if I live this long.
Where will your next travel lead you to?
I don’t know if it will be the next one but Iceland is calling. I still feel very much attached to this country. I first discovered when I was 19, and went back the year after for a longer time. I had intense emotional experiences there that were decisive in the direction my life took then and must be the reason I’m so sentimental about the place. But for the same reason, I still haven’t been able to return, dreading it would be different from my memory.
Thank you Fred for joining the FvF network! Find out more about his photographic practice here.