Armoire Mag Exclusive: Jean Meziere

 

Photographer: Jean Meziere 

Edits: Jeannot Quenson / @swoonyjean

Medium: Film 

 

We are honored to feature this unpublished series by renowned French Photographer Jean Meziere (1946-1986) 

These photographs were created in the American southwest in 1982. Using slow AFA film, mainly Kodachrome 25, Meziere was able to capture the intensity of light in a profound way. His work became characterized by strong color saturation, and a crisp level of detail due to the film's fine grain. Nearly thirty five years later, with restoration and edits from Meziere's son, Jeannot Quenson, this artist's unseen works are making their premiere appearance in Armoire Magazine. Read more from Jeannot Quenson on Meziere's life and art:

I don't remember my father. Shortly after my birth in 1985, and giving me his name, he succumbed to a rapid and vicious cancer. Although gone, he left an archive of photographs, negatives, books, and magazine publications. As a child, his work was all I had of him; a visual portfolio that allowed me to see who he really was, his best and most passionate self. I was able to learn what his tastes were, which colors he preferred, how he built a composition, how he expressed mood through light. All of these things, while purely aesthetic, were teaching me who he was, who I was. 

My connection to art became a necessity. I developed a love for my father vicariously through the work I created, influenced by what he had left behind. Maybe my work is an attempt at talking back, letting him know who I am. Either way, I also feel a strong desire to create. Maybe it's me just being me but maybe it's also me trying to keep him close, keep him alive in the only way I know him.

This previously unreleased series of work was shot in 1982 while my father taught a Photography workshop in Granbury, Texas. Using the Cibachrome process, his style began to embody the intense and seemingly un-natural color seen in these photographs. Because of the azo dyes in this process, the prints have a glossy, saturated intensity you rarely see in photographs today. With such a dynamic contrast range, the process lent a moody feel to the work and a detail level that was exciting to take in. These photographs show how his preferred processing method influenced his style. I kept all these things in mind when editing the positives and I think they are faithful to his vision and style. I wanted to capture the same dramatic color that I know my dad loved, and hopefully, faithfully re-create rich, glossy Cibachrome type prints that would be a modern throwback to his most creative times."

 

© Jeannot Quenson, Armoire Magazine 2016