Charles Baudelaire developed a derived meaning of flâneur – that of ’a person who walks the city in order to experience it.’ Frenchman Christophe Jacrot is one such chap. He scours cityscapes looking for the finest moments that a city can offer an observer and captures these timeless moments with astounding photographic skill.
He continuously plunges into New York, Paris, London, or Hong Kong to photograph and bring to light the hidden, fleeting moments of the everyday in their full poetic density and romantic charisma – which he only does in rain or snow (lumas.com).
Jacrot endeavours only in the wettest or stormiest weather to seize the full atmospheric effect of a city or rain or snow-sleeted street. ‘In my opinion, there are two ways of capturing the world for a photographer; on the one hand grasping its horror, and on the other sublimating it. I have chosen the second. More specifically, I like the way rain, snow and ‘bad weather’ awakens a feeling of romantic fiction within me (climatic excesses are another topic)’(christophejacrot.com)
Jacrot’s most recent work titled Hong Kong in the Rain was done in the busy metropolis of Hong Kong. He has the special talent to capture a city’s unique ambiance, as these cities moods and impressions are all different he depicts that expertly. There is a clear difference between eclectic cluttered streets of Hong Kong in contrast with the chic framed Paris. Though Jacrot depicts these cities unto their own there is still a unity in his concept and work, giving it a distinct flow of continuity and diversity. Jacrot romanticizes these moments of pouring rain, people huddled under umbrellas, women in elegant heels glistening almost ornament-like on the wet asphalt.
The play on light and reflection is core to his work, creating an underlying sense of warmth. Fleeting instants, these images flow like impressions – streams of consciousness created pictorially. ‘I see these elements as a fabulous ground for photography, an under-used visual universe with a strong evocative power, and with a richness of subtle lights. This universe escapes most of us, since we are too occupied getting undercover.
Man becomes a ghostly silhouette wandering and obeying the hazards of rain or of snow.
My approach is deliberately pictorial and emotional. (christophejacrot.com)
Haunting and almost cinematic, Christophe Jacrot takes cities’ moody characteristics and giving its people a hazy, dreamlike aesthetic.
Words : Bianca Budricks