From August 20th to September 7th, PHOTO12 Galerie presents an exhibition dedicated to the photographic work of Baghir.
Nicolas Baghir Maslowski was born in France. Baghir, the photographer’s artist name, was the first name of his grandfather, who died in his native Russia during the Bolshevik revolution in 1917. His father, in exile, emigrated to France as a child and eventually became a writer, giving a small camera to his own son Nicholas Baghir when he was 8 years old. As an introverted child captivated by images, Baghir took his camera everywhere, photographing everything that came into sight to create a personal photographic universe.
His secondary passion was music. In the early 2000s he spent time in Jamaica, meeting several musicians who were more or less forgotten and created the label imprint Makasound/Inna de Yard with a friend. They produced and reedited a number of buried masterpieces, eventually popularizing the Jamaican artist Winston McAnuff in France. Many of visuals for the label’s albums were photographed and composed by Baghir. The label took off and eventually became a division of a major company, but in 2013 Baghir took a chance and made the decision to leave his successful career in the music business, return to photography, and fully pursue his artistic vision.
The artist realized his vision with his current series Numerical Perturbations after four years of research and 15,000 photos. His images, quite contemporary, refer to the pictorialist movement in their painterly quality. He works with film and prints on silver gelatin paper, using the traditional process. Named only by number, the blurred photographs retain a sense of mystery in the eyes of the spectator, who often travels far in space and time to a place where freedom from the need for interpretation leads back to the image’s irreducible beauty. “The anonymity of the titles enhances the possibility of each image to create its own personality through the generous eyes of those who agree to let themselves get lost and find a precious moment within.”
The images are above all a study of pictorial beauty, an homage to painting and black and white photography that explore the terra incognita of the photographer’s oneiric world. “With Numerical Perturbations , I manipulate the image for the sake of passing the beauty I envision on to others.”
Baghir held solo exhibitions at Fat Galerie/Sitor Senghor (Paris 2014) and Swiss Art Space (Lausanne 2015) before Photo12 Galerie began representing him with a major solo show in November 2015 (Paris 2015-2016). His work has been shown at the art fairs Art Elysees, Art Paris, and Photo Shanghai. He will have another major show at Galerie Huit in Arles, France for Les Rencontres De La Photographie in July and his first U.S. solo exhibition in Los Angeles in August of this year.
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