I met up with Romain at the end of an unexpectedly warm winter afternoon and savoured a cup of bergamot tea while we talked about anything from French cultural heritage and so-called seapunk style to his inspirations and work process.
Between two sips of tea and a cigarette, I recalled I had first happened upon his work a few years ago and something in it had instantly struck a chord. Was it the delicate immobility, the faint melancholy of his pictures – or perhaps the way he artfully captured light ? I may also have been seduced by the subtle duality of his work, which often blends the refined and the trashy, the quaint and the new… but was most probably touched by his genuine love of fragile, somewhat tainted beauty.
Now a twenty-four-year-old student in fashion design at the Arts Déco, Romain tells me that photography will remain his own intimate form of art and that he is not that interested in making money from it – he would rather turn to art direction.
Romain is passionate about art history and visual culture, seems to love music, and absorbs anything that, he feels, relates to his aesthetic universe made of little treasures and memories. He loves collecting tiny objects, fragments of old pictures, and other precious scraps that he then gathers in various notebooks for future use. For this protean artist, photography seems to be just another way to express the intricacies of his vision.
Before creating a series of pictures, Romain always has a specific idea of what he wants to obtain. As his mental image starts shaping long before he actually shoots the series, he thoughtfully declares that his approach to photography tends to be more intellectual than intuitive and that he composes his pictures in the manner of classical painting. He knows what hues he is going to use, what shades he wants to conceal or enhance on the model’s face and, above all, how he wants the light to suffuse the scene. Romain will then revolve around his practically static model and take a few photographs, using one single roll of film.
In spite of the somehow remote and ethereal quality of his photographs, Romain’s artistic sensibility remains very modern, and so is his recycling of internet culture as well as fashion and cultural undercurrents. He has also directed a few videos and, while he finds filming more difficult to handle, he is particularly eager to work with this medium, which he feels comes closest to the mental representations of our generation.
Hoping to leave you with the irrepressible desire to learn more about him, I wish you a lovely day.
Find out more about Romain Le Cam here :