Wednesday, January 25, 2012

FOREVER YOUNG by Jacques Olivar

    Where did he get that unfailing eye, his sensibility,  imagination?  Undoubtedly, they are gifts but perhaps in part developed during his years as a  Paris based advertising photographer and movie director.  Today Jacques Olivar devotes himself full-time to fashion photography.  Yet the words “fashion photography” are inadequate to describe his unique style and the sheer beauty of his work as is evidenced in this gorgeous folio-sized collection that accompanied an exhibition at the Young Gallery in Brussels.

    We are all too familiar with the over-used “One picture is worth a thousand words” - Olivar’s photos tell stories, reveal not only faces but hopes, dreams, determination, and acceptance.  He has been quoted as saying, “I always try to match two different stories together. There is the location of the story—the atmosphere, the light, the colors—and the story of the woman—her eyes, her feelings, her attitude, her clothes. I like to choose for my pictures the least unexpected environment: a junkyard or a trashy diner, a lone street in a deserted ghost town or the poetry of a gas station. Then, I drive it into the ground to get the glamour of the situation.”

    So true.  Who else would find poetry in a ‘60s gas station in Nevada or in a brothel in Cape Town?  Yet it is there and Olivar has captured it in this series of beautiful young women photographed in the USA and elsewhere.  The photos represent some of the best from his advertising campaigns and shootings highlighting such designers as Dolce & Gabbana, Giorgio Armani, Dior, and Donna Karan.

    When you look at one of these photos, study it, you think you’ve found its essence.  But you haven’t - look again and again, you’ll find more.   Forever Young is a rarity, works of art between covers.  Enjoy!

    - Gail Cooke

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