Fred Guillaud (b.1973, France) is a photographer, architect and teacher living in Barcelona, Spain since 2000. His urban landscapes shot exclusively on film are admired for their atmospheric banality and visual appeal. Architecture plays a major role in Fred Guillaud’s work when he judiciously projects his camera to capture transitional negative spaces often placing a small human figure categorically in his frames to give it a social context. The resulting images are bright with a limited palette, patterns, and serenity.
"The permanent tourist, part II"
In Barcelona, the city in which he has lived and captured for 15 years with the amazement of an eternal tourist, he points and shoots with acuity not only the city’s claim to architectural excellence but also the occurrences of spontaneous vistas. He uses raw materials made of walls, objects, and motion to produce images in which silhouettes of a group of old ladies is superimposed on the one of a gleaming new skyscraper, in which he mixes old fashioned motifs of their dresses with an elegant layout of the façade. Fortunately, the city and its members are generous with visual coincidences, whether it be in the intensity of urban flows or along the sea side, opening an entire regional capital to many photogenic recreational practices. The precise bounce of the sun on tanned bodies, the cutout of a tattoo, the repetitive geometry of creases in skin or suits, all invite themselves in the illustration of the photographer’s adoptive city.
In these daily image captures with analog cameras, Fred Guillaud let’s himself be shaken up by the landscapes he observes and frames on a human scale, by shooting them “straight on”. Inspired by a “New Topographics” culture, the scenes being recorded are a witness of the concurrence of contrasted dynamics that make up the current urban landscapes: effervescence sit side-by-side with dead calm, involvement flirts with abandonment and the exuberance of characters mingles with the trite surrounding signs. The point when and where these phenomenon clashes trigger the photographer’s eye and engage draw him into the intimacy of the scene capture.
To view more of Fred Guillaud’s work please visit their website.