Michel Hirsch Photographer
The world as raw material,
Photography as a tool,
The photographer as a conductor,
The photographic art of Michel Hirsch is above all the fruit of many passions.
Passion for the world surrounding us, first of all, forged by thirty years of fine tuning his eye as a building and public works engineer, during which his aim was to transform space, to model, create and construct.
Passion also for photography, an ultimate art used to captivate and convey the ephemeral beauty of a moment, of light, or of natural or human creations.
His training, at the l’Ecole de l’Image des Gobelins in Paris was key to his developing new insight on the world, and was the starting line for his unique and singular collection of photographic works.
His scope has not changed, but he now immortalizes what he would transform in a previous life. Construction left place to observation, and the urge to model left place to wanting to sublimate existence. Art took over from industry, delivering a subtle testimony of the world surrounding us.
Michel Hirsch’s photography reflects the plurality of our environment.
Nature, in its infinite greatness and smallness, came to his as an obvious object, and now has an important place within his work. From the beauty of a landscape to the detail of an exotic plant or the flight of a butterfly, he finds in photography an ideal and thrilling means to immortalize, to unveil, and to share these ephemeral moments of grace, sublimated by light, and marked by the surprising encounters made through his lens.
But our world is not just the sum of what’s given by Nature. How can we contemplate it without noticing our own footprint? Very far, but somehow just as close, to the quietude of small woods or the harmony of a pond, one stumbles upon the space colonized by mankind. Industrial sites or disused factories, ambivalent witnesses of both the fragility of Nature and its vigorous attempt to take back its due. Rather than turn a blind eye, Michel Hirsch lends his sensitivity to this reality, by creating strong pieces of art, with various evocations. Strength, harmony and especially poetry come away like an obvious statement of these captured moments, when time stops, and there is a shift in the point of view: what first strikes us as unpleasing to the eye becomes full of softness and emotion.
Sometimes abstract, sometimes raw, his creations unveil our everyday life with a new balance, offering a vibratory, graphic and colorful representation of our environment.
As a subtle invitation to dream, Michel Hirsch’s collection of works installs between the pictures and the audience a strong though soothing resonance in which everybody is free to travel according to his or her sensitivity and life story.
« We are only passing by. What has been built will be destroyed, what we steal from Nature will be taken back, what was once useful will one day become passé. In our permanent race forward, let’s stop for a moment. Let’s contemplate, appreciate, profit, dream. Let’s be the witness of the ephemeral balance taking place before our eyes. It is these plural, sincere, hedonistic emotions which I hope to share through each one of my photographs.”
Michel Hirsch by NG