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About the artist: Munich-based photographer Gilles Lorin (b. 1973) creates intensely atmospheric images with a distinct aesthetic quality that could be mistaken for drawings or paintings. Lorin made a name for himself by using traditional and historical photographic processes, experimenting with a variety of negatives, chemicals, papers and techniques – an artistic practice that has earned him the nickname “Artist Alchemist”. Currently, a selection of works emblematic of Lorin’s oeuvre can be viewed online and in person at Kunkel Fine Art in Munich. The juxtaposition of different stylistic periods of the artist’s recent career highlights the breadth of his visual and technical research.
Why we love it: The influence of art history can be felt in Lorin’s work. Vanité de l’Archiviste (2018) vividly evokes the vanitas painting tradition of the Dutch Golden Age, featuring the characteristic symbols of memento mori, including a skull, an hourglass, and a recently extinguished candle still emitting faint smoke. The photo is a monochromatic platinum-palladium print on Japanese Gampi paper, which allows for a wider range of midtone grays—not possible with more modern photographic processes such as gelatin silver prints—making the photo look almost like a lithograph at first glance. Other works show Lorin’s exploration of color, such as the two cyanotypes shown, Portrait d’Arbre, Prussian Blue Study No. 1 (2016) and Reaching for the Sky (2019). These works made over the years show how the artist learned to make use of the technical and graphic properties of cyanotypes, resulting in more and more exceptional examples of the well-known watercolor-like, otherworldly images of the medium.
According to the gallery: “Lorin’s studies in art history and classical archeology had a decisive influence on his strong interest in the history of civilizations and religions. As such, he worked for many years as an expert on Asian art. With her background and experience, it’s no surprise that a wide variety of philosophical approaches find their way into Lorin’s work, helping her understand uniqueness, flawlessness, and perfection. Sometimes Asian motifs or stylistic influences dominate; other times, Christian or Western symbolism prevails. Lorin finds a very personal image of the fragile beauty of our earth, which he presents to us with his peaceful, aesthetic photography.”
Check out Gilles Lorin’s featured work below.
Gilles Lorin’s work is currently on display at Kunkel Fine Art in Munich.
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