Renowned for his black & white prints, in particular his fashion photographs which Les Douches la galerie exhibited in September 2022, Frank Horvat proves with this series taken in New York in the 1980s that he is also an outstanding colorist. . Strolling through the heart of a hyper-contrasted Manhattan, Frank Horvat challenges us with his favorite themes: the human condition, the harshness of the city and its contradictory beauty. Using an 85 mm lens and Ektachrome 200 and 400 asa film, he frees himself from his own style in order to confront the photogenic density of these iconic places. Constantly on the alert in the street, Frank Horvat nevertheless shows us a metropolis far removed from the usual clichés of the Big Apple. “In New York, tenderness is always on the verge of disaster, mystery is only the reverse of excessive explanation, he underlined in a logbook he kept on the occasion of his travels. transatlantic. I could say the same thing about myself, hence my affinity for this city, and my present approach. If poetry is an ideal that I don’t dare to talk about too much, the mystery, which is nevertheless associated with it – like certain gods with certain goddesses – is an objective that I pursue deliberately, according to formulas that are in no way mysterious.” Frank Horvat is an outsider, he easily admits, and it is for this reason that he has, vis-à-vis New York, “a rather dizzying attraction and fear”, as his daughter Fiammetta Horvat admits, at the origin of the rediscovery of this series. This encourages him to look, above all, for “color instants” that would suggest stories, without lapsing into sensationalism or miserabilism. Neither show nor dread. “I would like to find juxtapositions of shapes or colors that are composed around a gesture”, admitting in his writings a few lines later that “in the New York project there are still gaps to fill. But I will only find the missing pieces in extreme conditions of heat, cold, fear, loneliness. Not out of any masochism, but because New York is a city of extremes. Even inanimate objects – facades, rubbish, shop windows, graffiti – which should not change with the seasons, seem to lose their significance in the warmth of spring.” This series, entitled Side Walk, was the subject of a book at Atelier EXB, in October 2020, a few days after the death, at the age of 92, of Frank Horvat. This was the last book published during his lifetime.
New York by Frank Horvat
from June 10 to September 9, 2023
Les Douches la Galerie
5, rue Legouvé