"I choose my contemporaries in the anonymity of the big cities because their faces, under the skin, narrate unique, remarkable stories about our era. Sometimes hostile or distant, almost always fragile behind the opacity of their masks, they represent specific social realities and another concept of beauty. I also try to approach the unclassifiable, timeless individual, to suggest things that have been repeated over and over since time began.”
Pierre Gonnord was born in France in 1963 and has spent the last 20 years predominately working in Spain as a photographer. He is self-taught and uses elements of classical portraiture to depict his subjects – dramatic lighting, traditional composition and more often than not a dark background. Drawing his inspiration from the great masters of portrait genre, Pierre Gonnord focuses on the people he finds on the streets of Europe. He views his carefully chosen subjects through a lens of deep compassion creating sumptuous images which project our minds back to the 17th and 18th Centuries.
The exhibition at Leica Gallery London will showcase for the first time new diptychs by the artist – portraits of human characters paired with animals. Gonnord draws on the rich visual tapestry of time-old fables bringing to life the idea of a mythical animal or magical creature and then fitting this being with its human counterpart. In these portraits he asks the viewer to look beyond the genetic profile of each subject, feel their individual spirit and personality and also the relationship within each juxtaposition.