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The Questionnaire : Grégoire Soussan by Carole Schmitz


Greg Soussan : Flirting with provocation.

Photography became an integral part of Greg Soussan‘s life very early on. Born in metropolitan France, it was in Saint Martin, where he spent most of his childhood, that he made his first images.

A few years later, his first portrait was of Alphonse Boudard, ex-convict and writer, and his first publication: a double-page spread with Henri Salvador in Paris-Match. Since then, he has become renowned for his celebrity portraits: from Mikael Gorbachev to Penelope Cruz, from John Travolta to Zinédine Zidane, Michel Polnareff and many others… the greatest have posed for him.

An adventurer at heart, his credo over the years has been: “Learn to unlearn”. Bored by repetition, he likes to twist history by flirting with provocation and humor.

Rigorous and observant, as well as passionate, he never stops questioning himself and taking up new challenges, such as the dialogue between painting and photography he proposed to John Arlméder, staging a nude balanced under the painter’s works. An experience that revealed his artistic expression to the general public.


Website :
Instagram : gregoiresoussan_artist


What was your first photographic breakthrough?
Greg Soussan: My passion for motocross led me to photography. I found the images of this sport very beautiful. So I got my first camera and started photographing my friends who were also into the sport.

The man or woman in the picture who inspires you?
Greg Soussan: Well, he’s not a photographer, and I don’t know if you could call him an image man, but I have to admit that I’m mesmerized by the works of the painter Gérard Garouste. I can spend hours in front of his work. I love the way he lets go and his madness. And he makes me travel like no one else.

What image would you like to have made?
Greg Soussan: It’s a feeling I’ve had when I was working in the press and saw a story I’d have liked to have covered. Today, as I devote myself more to art, I sometimes think I’d like to give my photos as much power as I feel when I look at a Garouste painting. Painting leads to surreal things that are difficult to achieve with photography.

Which one moved you the most?
Greg Soussan: All the images of war with children.

And the one that made you most angry?
Greg Soussan: The one of the policeman putting his knee on George Floyd, preventing him from breathing and causing his death.

A key image in your personal pantheon?
Greg Soussan: My nude in front of John Arlméder’s paintings. Or my portrait of Henri Salvador.

A photographic memory from your childhood?
Greg Soussan: It was at the Fort de Saint Martin, I must have been 14 or 15, I was with my friends and we were intrigued by a guy who was photographing models of different ethnicities and a few years later I discovered that it was Mario Testino shooting a Benetton campaign.

With no budget limit, what work of art would you dream of acquiring?
Greg Soussan: Any painting by Garouste.

What do you think makes a good photographer?
Greg Soussan: A certain technique and the ability to tell stories.

What, if any, is the secret of the perfect image?
Greg Soussan: A perfect image is like a good film: it has to be able to be read on different levels.

Which photographer would you like to have your portrait taken by?
Greg Soussan: Portraits are intimate, and if I had to choose someone famous, I’d say Peter Lindbergh, whose talent and simplicity were astonishing.

An essential photo book?
Greg Soussan: “The Americans” by Robert Franck

Your childhood camera?
Greg Soussan: A Nikon FM2

The one you use today?
Greg Soussan: A Nikon D850

Your favorite drug?
Greg Soussan: Haribos… Impossible to give up.

What’s the best way to switch off?
Greg Soussan: Facing the sea whenever possible. Or turn everything off and listening to music.

What is your personal relationship with images?
Greg Soussan: I’m not interested in my personal image. More generally, I’m looking for emotion and adrenalin.

Your greatest quality?
Greg Soussan: Reliability.

An image to illustrate a new banknote?
Greg Soussan: A pair of buttocks (Laughs).

The job you wouldn’t have liked to do?
Greg Soussan: Any job that would require me to sit behind a desk.

And if you hadn’t become a photographer?
Greg Soussan: I’d be a sportsman.

What do you see as the difference between photography and art photography?
Greg Soussan: In my opinion, the difference between the two is enormous. Art photography responds to an approach, an aesthetic. Press photography, on the other hand, is all about information.

Which city, country or culture do you dream of discovering?
Greg Soussan: There are too many to answer.

The place you never tire of?
Greg Soussan: At home in Saint-Martin, even if I get bored after a while.

Your biggest regret?
Greg Soussan: Not being a professional sportsman.

In terms of social networks, are you more into Instagram, Facebook, Tik Tok or Snapchat, and why?
Greg Soussan: Instagram, because I’m too young for Facebook and too old for TikTok (laughs).

What have digital technology and smartphones taken away from or brought to photography?
Greg Soussan: Digital has essentially taken away the magic of developing in a darkroom, that excitement of not knowing whether you’ve got “the” photo or not.

Color or B&W?
Greg Soussan: Color

Daylight or artificial light?
Greg Soussan: It depends on the circumstances, but I prefer daylight.

If God existed, would you ask him to pose for you, or would you opt for a selfie with him?
Greg Soussan: Both.

If I could organize your ideal dinner party, who would be at the table?
Greg Soussan: That would depend on my mood… But it would be a clever mix of historical figures, people from different generations, contemporaries and animals.

Which image do you think represents the current state of the world?
Greg Soussan: A unicorn perhaps.

What’s missing in today’s world?
Greg Soussan: A certain humanity and unicorns!

If you had to start all over again?
Greg Soussan: I wouldn’t change a thing.

Any last words?
Greg Soussan: I was delighted to do this

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