« Regards Croisés »
One likes to take pictures, the other to paint. I have known Nicolas and Charles since high school, and I have been following their work since then.
It is therefore with the greatest pleasure that I received the flyer of their first shared art exhibition which will take place between May and July in Issy-Les-Moulineaux in the near suburb of Paris.
I took the opportunity then to send them a few questions to know more about the event and their work.
Thank you very much to both for sparing a few minutes of your time to answer our questions!
To begin, can you please introduce yourselves in a few words?
Nicolas: My name is Nicolas Davy, I am working as engineer in the home electronics field. I was born and have been living in the Hauts-de-Seine region and I have been pursuing wildlife photography for many years. My work focus on urban or peri-urban fauna, and I try to highlight species that are often seen as common but that to me remain spectacular.
Charles: My name is Charles, but many call me Charly. I come from Boulogne-Billancourt and now live in the Hauts-de-Seine region. I work with children that experience different types of neurodevelopmental disorders, and I have been painting for about twenty years as my hobby.
How do you know each other?
Charles: I met Nicolas during the first year of kindergarten 32 years ago, and we never lost contact since then.
What are your respective artistic specialties and skills, and how did the idea of your artistic cooperation come about?
Nicolas: For the past 6 years I have been taking pictures of urban nature. I mainly use photographic equipment which is adapted to natural shooting: telephoto lenses, macro lenses, fast cameras (full frame and APSC), monopod ...I am using equipment from Canon, this brand’s devices have in my opinion the easiest handling. Charles had been painting for a long time, and when he suggested to reinterpret my pictures, we quickly agreed on a shared theme: the park on the Saint-Germain island (the island is located on the Seine river, in the border of Paris). This topic has given us a solid guiding thread to work and prepare a consistent exhibition.
Charles: I mainly paint with acrylic or spray paint. I use different techniques (rabbit’s foot rolls, brushes, bubble wrap, hangers, rulers, yoghurt pots, etc.). One morning, 3 years ago I think, I thought that it would be nice to interpret Nicolas’ macro photography in abstract painting. From there I started producing canvases, and we submitted our project to the city of Issy-Les-Moulineaux which agreed to expose our work.
Can you explain the theme and purpose of the exhibition?
Charles: Our project « Regard Croisés » (different perspectives over the same thing) offers diptychs painting / photography composed in the following way: we picked a photograph taken by Nicolas in the park which speaks to us particularly, and I created its reinterpretation on canvas, applying different painting techniques. The photographs were all taken in the park's enclosure to emphasize its importance in our approach. This place really means a lot to us and it was obvious to us to pay tribute to it. The title of the exhibition refers to our approach of confronting our two interpretations of the same scene, as well as our two means of expression.
Nicolas: Charles summed it up well. I would just add a personal remark: this park is really a place that should be put forward as much as possible. The eco-management practiced there is at the forefront of what is being done today in Europe, and the results from a natural point of view are amazing. There you’ll cross the path of emblematic species, it is a real haven of peace within the dense urban fabric of the Parisian suburbs. I hope our images will help people become aware of the variety of things they can see in this park.
You already started answering the question: why did you pick the Saint-Germain Island as the meeting point of your projects?
Nicolas: There is a special relationship between us and this park. As I said before, this is one of the few natural islets in the area and we have both spent a lot of time there since early childhood. We have seen its transformation over the years. Personally, I have spent a lot of hours there and I cannot count the friends I have made there. I have been going to this park in a sportive way for decades, so it was naturally there that I first went to test my equipment when I started nature photography. I then rediscovered the place: each hedge, each pond, each grove is designed as an ecosystem on its own by the park’s managers… one never really sees it all…
Charles: The park’s wildlife is exceptional within the small Parisian belt, and we wanted to highlight it. Our way to approach the subjects is comprehensive and is not limited to a particular category (e.g. plants, insects, birds ...).
Finally, when and where can we find the exhibition?
Charles: Our exhibition "Regards Croisés" will take place from May 2nd to July 30th, 2018, at the Médiathèque des Chartreux of Issy-Les-Moulineaux (2 rue du Clos Munier). Do not hesitate to stop by and/or share the information.
Pic credits: Flyer and pictures kindly provided by Nicolas Davy and Charles Bouis, all rights reserved.