Florent Petitfrère: Faces

Florent Petitfrère: Esquire

Being a former model, Florent Petitfrère knows the tricks of fashion editorial. But knowing these tricks does not necessarily make someone a good photographer. Luckily, it does in Florent Petitfrère’s case. Fashion magazines from all over the world publish his pictures with the greatest pleasure. They all carry his unique thumbprint. Petitfrère loves black-and-white photography and knows how to stage pictures in an unusual light. This makes his picture series for Esquire Magazine even more unusual, because he actually dared to let color into his pictures this time. The result is a picture series that puts the model and his own pictorial language right in the spotlight. The actors look stiff and frozen but they are surrounded with warm colors. The contrasts and the soft focus surrounding them lend them a degree of three-dimensionality. The looks on their faces reveal a certain prudence, or thoughtfulness, which gives these wonderful pictures their own unique atmosphere.

Florent Petitfrère: Gun

The fashion magazine “Gun“ sees itself as an art and fashion magazine and not as an arms lobbyist. So it’s not surprising that they requested Florent Petitfrère for an editorial series! If you are surprised, be sure that Florent delivers a perfect mix of all his former works. Again he completely satisfies the viewer in various ways, despite the fact that this series is less reduced to his specialty, black-and-white-photography. His pictures, which depict a wonderfully chosen male model, are absolutely to the point. His use of black-and-white pictures, as well as colored pictures, definitely deserves the title “art”. All these pictures are not only taken brilliantly, they are also post-processed in a very distinctive way. Petitfrère creates a collage of various levels, plays with perspectival distortions and a lot more. What really distinguishes him, though, is his eye for the big picture: The picture within the picture which does not only depict fashion but which also creates a certain commitment for and appreciation of it. Petitfrère makes something of his talent and is as enchanting as ever.

Florent Petitfrere: Powder Overdose

For the series „Powder Overdose“, Florent Petitfrère gets back to one of his specialties: expressive black-and-white photography. As the title already suggests, the higher stylistic element is powder, which Petitfrère placed in the foreground. So he chose three male models and for each one he created close-ups. The emphasis is placed on their faces. Two of the three models show faces blackened with powder which creates wonderful structures on their skin. The third model, however, looks completely natural and fascinates with his expressive face. Another noticeable point is that two of the three models show similar postures and facial expressions while one looks more candid and playful. In the end, it is the needle-sharp photographs and the powerfully stages portraits which make for the impact of Petitfrère’s work. An impressive work, as is customary of Petitfrère.

Florent Petitfrere: Carmen

For Florent Petitfrere’s new work, Georges Bizet would probably applaud at least as loud as the whole audience of his opera Carmen! Maybe this work is Florent Petitfrere’s way of bowing his head to the grand master Bizet, who knows? What I do know is that these pictures have been beautifully realized. We have grown accustomed to nothing less by the former model who can now be found behind the camera and who has specialized on scenic, mostly black-and-white pictures. And this is what we see in his work titled “Carmen”, in which the two protagonists reconstruct scenes from the same-named opera in gorgeous garments. At least this is the first impression you get when looking at this passionate couple. On closer examination, you can see Petitfrere’s sense of fashion photography and his feeling for sensual staging. These two features make his pictures utterly unique and turn them into real eye-catchers. This work really makes you curios about the next theme Petitfrere will take up. We can definitely look forward to terrific pictures.

Florent Petitfrere: Fashionable Demons.

The styled figures in the photographs of French photographer Florent Petitfrere look as if they came straight from the world of Greek mythology. In his cool compositions, elegantly dressed angels meet seductive demons and other demigods. Even though he strives for a reduction to what is visually essential, Petitfrere always succeeds in constructing amazingly emotional stages for his models. He creates dramatic contrasts of light and shadow, almost reminiscent of the Baroque style of Caravaggio. After his international career as a model, Florent Petitfrere grabbed a camera. Ever since that moment, he’s been inspiring the fashion world with his visual dramas. This is how the passionate globetrotter describes his daily routine: “eat/drink/sleep/photography.” He uses his spare time to study books from the 18th and 19th centuries, as well as texts on sociology. People wanting to treat him to something special are well advised to take him out to a good Italian restaurant. Having recently lived in New York and Hong Kong, Petitfrere now spends most of his time in Germany.