Born in 1972 - France
After almost twenty years working in marketing, this man in his early forties gave in to photography and contemporary art.
To be honest, the odds for him to finally turn to such an artistic and abstract pathway were quite low until he was instantaneously struck by this mesmerizing miracle of Mother Nature. He suddenly realized that the same pigeon couple had landed for mating on his Haussmann-style balcony for the third year in a row with perfect timing. A well-organised and timely society would come to life right under his eyes: the settling and the building of a place called home, the meeting of a partner and the mating, the birth of a new generation and their education...But actually who are the ones observing the others ?
As anonymous as the people next-door in a big city, pigeons can go unnoticed and ignored, but they would nevertheless gather loudly in parks or on the pavement, buzz around, flying aimlessly over our heads, picking crumbles right out off our plates, and as such they ARE the city. The city has its own way to gentrify people. We could really wonder whether pigeons themselves had been taken on by the same urban fever.
Petit Jean, already fascinated by Beatrix Potter’s universe and Kenneth Graham’s magic as a child, plays with our perception of the world, mixing up our reality and that of the birds. This anthropomorphism comes to a climax as he chooses to display the volatiles in a projected version of an organized world reflecting our modern human lives. The outcome is just incredibly realistic and anyone could find their bearings in this or that everyday situation.
Petit Jean contributes to opening up our minds to the change in the role and place of animals in our society still yet profoundly marked by the machine-animal philosophy of Descartes. In that way he is painstakingly striving for changing our look onto the wild and onto the long way yet to be pursued for the coexistence of man and beast: as one dies so dies the other.
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