Avant_Gallery_Guy_Le_Baube_Rue_Bois_Le_Vent_1971Guy Le Baube: Behind the Scenes

July 12 – September 15, 2019

Opening Reception: July 11, 6-8pm

Avant Gallery, 20 Hudson Yards, Level 1,

New York, NY 10001

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NEW YORK, July 8 – Avant Gallery is pleased to announce Behind the Scenes, featuring a collection of photography by Guy Le Baube, at the gallery’s Hudson Yards location. On view from July 12 through September 15, 2019, the exhibition will be preceded by an artist’s reception the evening of Thursday, July 11th, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

A single, heavy-lidded eye peaks out from a swathe of limbs and cotton sheets; a spine rises from a pile of packing popcorn as if dusting off the salty foam of the Mediterranean Sea – a dance ensues and amid the throws of an improvised, intuitive choreography a moment emerges and passes in an instant. Such is the work of renowned photographer, Guy Le Baube, who for over thirty years has been shooting for exhibition as well as Vogue, Elle, Harper’s Bazaar and Marie-Claire. A contemporary of Helmut Newton and Patrick Demarchelier, Le Baube’s chic, minimal compositions center the beauty of the female figure, playfully laced with innuendo and grace.

In a nod to classical statuary, each model contorts into harmonious simplicity, edifying both editorial lust, and the guile of the avant garde. Captured in rich 35mm film, each photograph retains the lustrous romance of another era. The repose of the nude becomes architectural, sculptural as much as her own sprawling, monochrome landscape. Le Baube’s lens treats his subjects with dignity, each image an almost collaborative effort, eye to eye, cheek to cheek, intertwined and working towards the climactic click of the shutter.

The expression, behind the scenes evokes a reveal, the pulling back of curtains and the wiping off of make-up. Elegance is defined by an effortlessness, the appearance of as little labor as possible despite the meticulous care which goes into each and every print. Le Baube’s labor is practically invisible, stripped down to gesture, reminding the viewer that regardless of whether the lights are on, the theatre continues. As the Bard says, we are still “merely players.”

GUY LE BAUBE

PATRICK DEMARCHELIER

As a fashion photographer I have spent the better part of my career focused on striving to bring a lofty ideal of beauty and grace to my work.  Guy Le Baube’s images doubtlessly reflect these qualities and, as I contemplate his photographs, I ask myself impulsively what is it that sets these nudes apart from the nude photography one finds so pervasively and ubiquitously in today’s world? 

There can be no doubt that the advent of digital photography and its myriad possibilities allowing the photographer to artificially adjust and alter his imagery has largely influenced and fundamentally changed photography as an art form.  Photoshop has become the virtual Botox of photography making it possible to achieve a level of perfection that clearly goes far beyond reality and represents a sort of contrived authenticity.  So when pushed too far, it seems to me that this endeavor to create the flawless image of beauty and esthetic perfection actually damages its very credibility.  Is it not true that the thought-provoking, emotional aspects of a photograph are to be found in its inevitable imperfections?  To be discovered in a tiny wrinkle, in an unexpected or unsolicited facial expression, in the charming little dimple, in the awkwardness of a movement and so on. 

Mr. Le Baube’s visual journey is both unique and courageous.  I appreciate his will to go against the flow and never to duplicate what others do; to keep an intuitive and insinuated distance from his subjects and to be willing to actually seek that space in which imperfection and spontaneity create beauty and not the contrary.  The essence and the esthetics of Guy’s work are intimately combined in the moment.  He makes use of a substantial creative palette, which includes the manner in which he seizes and interprets that moment, his choice of black and white or color, his delicate use of a touch of “Manraysian” surrealism, or his subtle mix of classicism and modernism that often results in an iconic image.  Humor and tenderness are forever present in his work and he creates a lightness, which finds itself in contrast to his steady will to find beauty and emotion where it is concealed in imperfection and the unexpected.  This subtle dosage of creative factors produces the unique look that I see in every one of Guy Le Baube’s images and each one of these photographs resembles a sort of secret confession that tenderly oscillates between innocence and the showcasing of young women who, without the slightest embarrassment would always say “yes”, while avoiding the clichés of erotic photography.

Patrick Demarchelier

About Avant Gallery

Founded in Miami Beach in 2007, Avant Gallery is committed to expanding the discourse of contemporary art by supporting bold innovation, dynamic practices and visual experimentation. The gallery represents an eclectic range of emerging and mid-career artists.

Avant Gallery operates from multiple distinct venues: a flagship in Downtown Miami at the Epic Hotel with LaMuse Café; Four Seasons, Jumeirah Resort, Dubai, featuring a curated salon exhibition conceptualized as Artmosphere®; and its newest flagship location in New York City at Hudson Yards. From ambitious gallery exhibitions to immersive installations and performance experiences, Avant Gallery is dedicated to building an environment where art, culture and luxury collide.

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