Cecile Chalouni

Photography allows for the exploration and alternate perception of our daily environment. What touches me most is seeing the transformation of seemingly insignificant objects into meaningful and beautiful ones. My pictures are the result of a wandering and wondering state of mind, and are sometimes further developed to incorporate more elaborated narratives.

My inspiration stems from multiple sources that I integrate to express what I discover, feel, and test. I like to go out and wander in a city where I photograph fashion boutiques, details in streets and on buildings, or in nature. I just let my eye get interested, find a starting point and keep discovering. The details of daily life are also a rich source of inspiration: objects, jokes,emotions and incongruous events. At home, I expand and develop this work using digital processing or through mixed media.

Other artists have influenced me. The first photographer who made a strong impression was Ernst Haas through his book The Creation. Haas was a pioneer in color photography and I was amazed by the colors and and semi-abstraction of his urban and nature photographs. Later Ralph Gibson’s L’Histoire de France captured my attention by its detailed, minimalist and somewhat chic still lifes of daily objects. While I explored digital media, I discovered Duane Michals’ mix of texts and paintings with photographs.

My paintings can be read on different scales: small areas of experimentation, combination and harmony between areas, including symbolic messages and stories. Some of my photographs started to incorporate these same techniques as I merged photographs with each other and with scans of objects or paintings.