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Arles 2012 – SFR: Julien Dumas

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It took a while for Julien Dumas to reveal the talent hiding for all these years behind the “store manager” of the famous Apple brand. He never lost faith in digital, but the work of Richard Avedon, which he discovered in New York in 2009, would lead to a professional redemption through photography. The idea came to him by chance in the back streets of Paris to present his pictures to the SFR Jeunes talents. Everything is clear in the work of Julien Dumas: there is nothing obscure or deliciously hidden as in the work of Erwin Olaf or Gregory Crewdson, those two masters of photography who cultivate a mise-en-scène of desire and mystery. For Julien Dumas, provocation is the prominent desire, but gently. The self-admitted atheist is more fascinated by the beauty of the religious gesture that close the inverted triangle between veil and hands, bringing the offering of a cotton bouquet. The allegory is powerful because it brings together black and white women in a carefully lit spectrum of color. “The white participants were more difficult to convince,” says Dumas. “Once, an African woman backed out, only to reverse the decision two weeks later and appearing topless.”

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