Artist
SmithDavidson Gallery

Marc Lagrange, Awareness, 2012-18

Enlarged chocolate polaroid into white floating frame with museum glass / Enlarged chocolate polaroid into white floating frame with museum glass
Dimensioni / Size: 125 x 100 cm
Edizione / Edition: 7 + 2 AP
Courtesy: Atelier Marc Lagrange, SmithDavidson Gallery

The Chocolate Project
As of the late 1980’s Marc Lagrange devoted his life and work to the medium of photography and all who worked with him or followed his career closely know about his true passion for analog photography. As of the early 1990’s he started to work quite intensively with Polaroid film and his nudes, or portraits, as he would prefer to call them, found a more intense, more touching, more human look. The surface of these Polaroids and the longer exposure, inherent to these films, resulted in a deep and personal aesthetic quality of his photography. The Polaroid film eventually became his signature trademark. ‘Photos are taken by photographers not by cameras’ was his saying and within this series of never before published work one can easily discern his particular photographic style and his quest to bring beauty to his images and emotion to an audience.
The immediate image of the Polaroid Chocolate film became very important for Marc. Like many photographers did at the time, he used the immediacy of the peel apart-films for test snapshots of a scene but he quickly started using it as a real medium. Polaroid 100 Chocolate film is one of the rarest films Polaroid ever made; because of its unique process it produces images starkly different from any other Polaroid film. The black and white/color cross-process method produces chocolate brown images with a warm texture and other special characteristics.
“After the success of the Timeless Beauty exhibition, where more than 40 000 people saw Marc’s work in the Gallo-Roman Museum in Belgium last year, we felt it was the right time to share some part of our father’s unseen work he shot with Chocolate Polaroid.
Next to the collection where we reveal new enlarged chocolate polaroids, we will release a new luxury photo-box, called “The Chocolate Box”. In 1998, Marc released his first ‘Black Box’ and he has always been very keen on the idea of bringing out a new one so we now wanted, in this particular way, to share some of Marc’s beautiful, never before published chocolate photographs with a broader audience and make a limited series and some original pieces available to collectors of his work around the world.”
His Polaroids often contain a spontaneity and freshness, different from the final work, so he started creating his own, distinctive Polaroid style. Through the particular Polaroid technology, these images confirm their relation to a past reality. In that sense, these photographs are interesting because they stimulate both the desire to understand the world of beauty and to escape it.
As per Marc’s words: “Therein lies the ambition: to place the durability and significant immobility of the photograph opposite the speed of our daily world. “My settings are places for dreams, for the imaginary to prevail.”

The Chocolate Project
As of the late 1980’s Marc Lagrange devoted his life and work to the medium of photography and all who worked with him or followed his career closely know about his true passion for analog photography. As of the early 1990’s he started to work quite intensively with Polaroid film and his nudes, or portraits, as he would prefer to call them, found a more intense, more touching, more human look. The surface of these Polaroids and the longer exposure, inherent to these films, resulted in a deep and personal aesthetic quality of his photography. The Polaroid film eventually became his signature trademark. ‘Photos are taken by photographers not by cameras’ was his saying and within this series of never before published work one can easily discern his particular photographic style and his quest to bring beauty to his images and emotion to an audience.
The immediate image of the Polaroid Chocolate film became very important for Marc. Like many photographers did at the time, he used the immediacy of the peel apart-films for test snapshots of a scene but he quickly started using it as a real medium. Polaroid 100 Chocolate film is one of the rarest films Polaroid ever made; because of its unique process it produces images starkly different from any other Polaroid film. The black and white/color cross-process method produces chocolate brown images with a warm texture and other special characteristics.
“After the success of the Timeless Beauty exhibition, where more than 40 000 people saw Marc’s work in the Gallo-Roman Museum in Belgium last year, we felt it was the right time to share some part of our father’s unseen work he shot with Chocolate Polaroid.
Next to the collection where we reveal new enlarged chocolate polaroids, we will release a new luxury photo-box, called “The Chocolate Box”. In 1998, Marc released his first ‘Black Box’ and he has always been very keen on the idea of bringing out a new one so we now wanted, in this particular way, to share some of Marc’s beautiful, never before published chocolate photographs with a broader audience and make a limited series and some original pieces available to collectors of his work around the world.”
His Polaroids often contain a spontaneity and freshness, different from the final work, so he started creating his own, distinctive Polaroid style. Through the particular Polaroid technology, these images confirm their relation to a past reality. In that sense, these photographs are interesting because they stimulate both the desire to understand the world of beauty and to escape it.
As per Marc’s words: “Therein lies the ambition: to place the durability and significant immobility of the photograph opposite the speed of our daily world. “My settings are places for dreams, for the imaginary to prevail.”


Marc Lagrange

Belgio / Belgium
https://www.marclagrange.com

Filled with longing and sensuality, Marc Lagrange’s photographs celebrate fantasies and desire—placing beauty and dreams at the center of his world. Lagrange was born in Kinshasa, Congo, in 1957. His career path led him from engineering to photography, and his creativity from fashion to art. Privileging analog over digital, the Antwerp-based Belgian artist searches for intimacy and emotion as opposed to artificial effects. His giant Polaroids—which have been exhibited worldwide—are a powerful example of his craft as well as his attention to detail: he can display the texture of skin, highlight natural curves and make his models stand out.

Lagrange elaborates entire sets until he finds the exact mood he wishes to convey, with the end goal being to create the images he wants. From the color of the walls to the shape of a chair, every single detail counts, underlining Lagrange’s perfectionist streak and his willingness to unfold narratives.

Throughout his career, Lagrange has photographed the same women over different periods of time, turning them into his muses. Inge Van Bruystegem—a striking model and talented dancer—is one of them. Lagrange worked with her for more than fifteen years, developing a privileged relationship. The trust that flourished between them over the years is quite rare in photography and generated many surprising results. Individuals who posed in front of Lagrange’s lens often ended up spontaneously performing and revealing more about themselves than they perhaps intended to. One thing Lagrange respected is the mystery and power of women: even fully nude, his models are confident and in control; real protagonists as opposed to passive figures.
 
In 2012, Delvaux—the oldest luxury leather goods house in the world—commissioned Lagrange with portraits of women from different generations depicting their relationship with their handbags. Seductive and elegant, the black-and-white photographs gave birth to a new series that has been ongoing. In 2014, Lagrange traveled to New York to shoot iconic women and the results were powerful. From Carmen Dell’Orefice to Zani Gugelmann, he met some of Manhattan’s most stylish and influential women and captured their strength and charisma. The series was named Timeless Beauties and subsequent trips to China, Japan and other key destinations for Delvaux were organized. After 2008 Lagrange additionally developed his video work, including a film for the fashion brand Supertrash’s fragrance launch. In 2012, he also filmed Liesa Van der Aa’s clip for Louisa’s Bolero.

Marc Lagrange’s work has been honored with several exhibitions in Europe and the United States. In 2011, Maison Lagrange introduced more than 240 artworks to the public, many of them previously unseen. The retrospective lasted six months. The following year, his Extra Large Marc Lagrange show in Graz, Austria, spread over 3,000 square meters.

Lagrange also participated at Art Miami on a regular basis, and several books have been published under his name, including Polarized by Ludion in 2009 and Marc Lagrange XXML by Lido in 2009. In 2013, Diamonds and Pearls was published by teNeues in 80 countries. The following year, in 2014, he published Hotel Maritime – Room #58, a private edition limited to 300 copies whose content was shown internationally. The atmosphere of Hotel Maritime – Room #58 echoes some of Edward Hopper’s most soulful and alluring paintings. More conceptual than his previous works, it underlines the descriptive quality of his art.

In 2015, a selection of Lagrange’s iconic works was featured at the TEFAF art fair in Maastricht, the Netherlands. Senza Parole, which partly took place in the Italian town of Pietrasanta, coupled with the Handelsbeurs project in Antwerp, Belgium and a Fellini inspired shoot at the baroque loft of Paolo Calia in Paris, these three series were all part of this new book. Marc Lagrange kept looking for singular subjects and unexpected stories, placing humanity at the core of his approach.

Marc Lagrange passed away suddenly on Christmas Day 2015 at the age of 58, due to an accident on the island of Tenerife, Spain.

In December 2017 ‘The Chocolate Project’ was launched to great acclaim, a traveling exhibition honoring the artist and his fascination for the Polaroid photography.

Filled with longing and sensuality, Marc Lagrange’s photographs celebrate fantasies and desire—placing beauty and dreams at the center of his world. Lagrange was born in Kinshasa, Congo, in 1957. His career path led him from engineering to photography, and his creativity from fashion to art. Privileging analog over digital, the Antwerp-based Belgian artist searches for intimacy and emotion as opposed to artificial effects. His giant Polaroids—which have been exhibited worldwide—are a powerful example of his craft as well as his attention to detail: he can display the texture of skin, highlight natural curves and make his models stand out.

Lagrange elaborates entire sets until he finds the exact mood he wishes to convey, with the end goal being to create the images he wants. From the color of the walls to the shape of a chair, every single detail counts, underlining Lagrange’s perfectionist streak and his willingness to unfold narratives.

Throughout his career, Lagrange has photographed the same women over different periods of time, turning them into his muses. Inge Van Bruystegem—a striking model and talented dancer—is one of them. Lagrange worked with her for more than fifteen years, developing a privileged relationship. The trust that flourished between them over the years is quite rare in photography and generated many surprising results. Individuals who posed in front of Lagrange’s lens often ended up spontaneously performing and revealing more about themselves than they perhaps intended to. One thing Lagrange respected is the mystery and power of women: even fully nude, his models are confident and in control; real protagonists as opposed to passive figures.
 
In 2012, Delvaux—the oldest luxury leather goods house in the world—commissioned Lagrange with portraits of women from different generations depicting their relationship with their handbags. Seductive and elegant, the black-and-white photographs gave birth to a new series that has been ongoing. In 2014, Lagrange traveled to New York to shoot iconic women and the results were powerful. From Carmen Dell’Orefice to Zani Gugelmann, he met some of Manhattan’s most stylish and influential women and captured their strength and charisma. The series was named Timeless Beauties and subsequent trips to China, Japan and other key destinations for Delvaux were organized. After 2008 Lagrange additionally developed his video work, including a film for the fashion brand Supertrash’s fragrance launch. In 2012, he also filmed Liesa Van der Aa’s clip for Louisa’s Bolero.

Marc Lagrange’s work has been honored with several exhibitions in Europe and the United States. In 2011, Maison Lagrange introduced more than 240 artworks to the public, many of them previously unseen. The retrospective lasted six months. The following year, his Extra Large Marc Lagrange show in Graz, Austria, spread over 3,000 square meters.

Lagrange also participated at Art Miami on a regular basis, and several books have been published under his name, including Polarized by Ludion in 2009 and Marc Lagrange XXML by Lido in 2009. In 2013, Diamonds and Pearls was published by teNeues in 80 countries. The following year, in 2014, he published Hotel Maritime – Room #58, a private edition limited to 300 copies whose content was shown internationally. The atmosphere of Hotel Maritime – Room #58 echoes some of Edward Hopper’s most soulful and alluring paintings. More conceptual than his previous works, it underlines the descriptive quality of his art.

In 2015, a selection of Lagrange’s iconic works was featured at the TEFAF art fair in Maastricht, the Netherlands. Senza Parole, which partly took place in the Italian town of Pietrasanta, coupled with the Handelsbeurs project in Antwerp, Belgium and a Fellini inspired shoot at the baroque loft of Paolo Calia in Paris, these three series were all part of this new book. Marc Lagrange kept looking for singular subjects and unexpected stories, placing humanity at the core of his approach.

Marc Lagrange passed away suddenly on Christmas Day 2015 at the age of 58, due to an accident on the island of Tenerife, Spain.

In December 2017 ‘The Chocolate Project’ was launched to great acclaim, a traveling exhibition honoring the artist and his fascination for the Polaroid photography.