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Sylvia Galmot: He or She?


Paris, September 2011, sitting on the patio of a cafe, I ask my neighbor for a light. Something doesn’t seem right. I don’t know how to describe it. We start to talk, and I perceive, beneath my neighbor’s beauty, an unparalleled sweetness and presence.
I already want to take her picture. I ask for her number and call her the next day. Lalla is transgendered.
During our session, I am touched and moved by the grace and fragility emanating from her person. Her mystery overwhelms me. I mostly knew about transgendered people through vulgar caricatures, and standing before my lens is a transgendered woman more feminine and delicate than most of my peers.
It quickly became obvious that I would have to do a series on the theme of the “rebirth” of transgendered people. I transcribe this sensual mystery with my camera as if I were touching their skin and penetrating their souls. In this atmosphere of trust and cooperation, my models, photographed using only daylight, give themselves over with the greatest intimacy. They not only opened their doors to me, but their hearts as well. When one feels like a woman in a man’s body or a man in a woman’s body, the discrepancy between the flesh and the mind can lead to suicide. A “rebirth” is necessary, and this is what I hope to glorify in my work.
Sylvia Galmot, Avril 2012

Sylvia Galmot is a portrait photographer whose photographs of famous French actors, writers and musicians have appeared in a number of magazines. She seeks two things in her work: truth and emotion. Behind these well known faces, Galmot searches deep down for their strengths, their weaknesses, and their poetry. Her approach is singular; while most of her colleagues only think in terms of technique and staging, Gamot always begins by spending a moment talking with the model, no camera in sight, and only shoots when she feels a rapport has been established between them that will allow her to tell a story. This atmosphere of trust and intimacy can be felt in the photograph, as if the benevolence in Galmot’s eyes was contagious.
Alix Girod de l’Ain

Il ou Elle ? Sylvia Galmot
June 8 – 30, 2012
Galerie Artcube
9 Place Furstemberg
75006 Paris
Monday – Saturday 10.30am – 7.30pm

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