Recycle series, Jean-François Lepage

2014_lepage_recycle_16_750px

2014_lepage_recycle_16_750px

Jean-François Lepage (b.1960) is a photographer whose working methods are closer to that of a painter. His paradoxically alluring and disquieting photographs bare evidence to a process in which he physically cuts, draws and works into their surface to intricately evolve and brutally deconstruct the original image. Lepage’s intuitive approach to the image-making process is cathartic. “I’m like a surgeon who faces his patient with lucidity and commitment but with the absolute certitude that the only person I can really save is — myself.” Over the past three and a half decades, since his first published images appeared in Depeche Mode, he has chosen to work sporadically for editorial and advertising clients, while taking time — including a 13-year period of abstinence from commercial environs — to pursue his art through painting in a purer form. Subsequently, Lepage has maintained his distinctive voice as his imagery has evolved. More recently he has begun to pull away from fashion once more. He is currently making new work, recycling photographs from his archive to build new pictures — finding his palette by cutting up outtakes from his old shoots of now discontinued 8×10, 891 Polaroid from the 1990s.

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