Born in 1962 - France
Born in 1962, Olivier Legan lives and works in Paris.
Looking through clothes and seeing people nude is a classic "voyeur" fantasy... Close to this fantasy, but with an artistic intention, clinical and almost scientific, Olivier Legan confuses us with his recent works.
A popular saying, usefully reminds us that "the clothes do not make the man – or woman". So should we look behind what is shown - behind the mask or the successive masks - to approach the truth? The artist's approach is bold and it is compelling to see the diversity and number of models that have accepted to play the game. Olivier Legan chose only female models, whose clothes are sometimes a refuge, a veil…
With significant resources, the artist manages to offer us an almost scientific work. His photographs are indeed close to the clinical dissection of anatomic analysis in the medical world.
He tells us, and we believe him, that his eyes are devoid of any ulterior motive apart from revealing, above all, the reality of feminine beauty. Indeed, in Collection #1, we very realistically discover the body of women without make-up or embellishment who have lent themselves to the objective of this artist.
These women are psychotherapists, realtors or actresses. Olivier Legan meets them online and/or elsewhere. They have trusted the artist because they have been enticed by his process or by the challenge: the artist, totally convinces us when he insisted: "through my process, I try to give a way to ordinary women and their bodies, to express themselves even though they have never shown it before."
Besides, what fascinates is the ability he had to get all his models "frank and direct gaze”. Because, beyond the scenario - clearly accepted by each woman - a point gathers them all: their look that stares towards the lens of the camera and attracts ours. We are no longer voyeurs, we listen to the message they try to convey.
Between sculpture and installation Olivier Legan uses plexiglass boxes to lock his photographs - as he would do if he was an entomologist – to present his Collection #1. Every piece is unique and fragile, like a collection piece that would fit in the middle of a curio cabinet.
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