A line of tarmac dissolving into an abstract painting. Brightly coloured objects overlaid, as in a collage. Two urinals defy against the assault of graffiti. Clouds in the morning sky tenderly cradling sunbeds on the shore. Aimless characters strolling under a concrete lace as their world was framed by its curves… Photographs signed Henri Darricau have the lightness of a haiku; at time, as powerful as a painting free of gimmicks when they don’t play off the neutral style of Deadpan. Like insidious invitations to travel in the thickness of signs carved over time. New York, Dubai, Mexico, New Orleans, Moscow, the Mucem de Marseille, Buren’s columns in Paris… have all been caught in the pictorial aesthetic of this citizen of the world, always in awe before reality’s niches.
Henri Darricau is not your usual street photographer, he harvests moments and sows questions. In the ways of the first photographers and impressionist painters, he wanders with his camera to capture “impressions”. Like a nomad, almost phlegmatic, but secretly vigilant for this dazzling flash when the matter, lines and colours of a fragment of the world coalesce to play, and catch his eye. Reflections in glass windows, cracks in the tarmac, stains on walls, hazardous trajectories converging towards one another, become characters, occult symbols… magic takes place in this exact instant.
Through his eye, the photographer explores the singular architecture of a microcosm. In a click, the lens cuts through the veil of perception, immortalising its composition. The fragment is salvaged from indifference, freed from chaos and oblivion, the fate of things. Uniquely. It seems somewhat astonished to have been seized; all happened so swiftly. In the space of a couple of exposures, two or three at the most, a piece of world is shaped, ambushed in a 24 x 36. The artist’s eye slides into gleeful bliss, as if the secret architecture of things could mesmerise the soul. “What I’m looking for is akin to a painting”, confesses the photographer endowed with the ability to harness the freedom, beauty, strangeness, and art hidden in things.
The quest of this impressionist may appear eclectic, somewhat heteroclite. In reality, it responds to this pursuit and reflects a desire to harmonise the games and adventures which shapes, lines, and materials perform in the light. Darricau captures the moment when his psyche meets reality. The sincerity of his authorial approach echoes the technique of a very pure form of photography. No set up, zoom, artificial light, editorial touch-up or cropping. The fixed lens crudely captures reality and the poetry of the moment.
Caroline AUDIBERT, Journaliste – Auteure – Réalisatrice