A Journey in The Surreal World of Cedric Blanchon by Dilshad Corleone
Cedric Blanchon “displays incredible dexterity as a traditional photographer whose imagination and skill with apps seems to have no boundaries. His strong personal messages are cryptic, disturbing, thought-provoking, and sometimes even witty.” The surreal seems to be the driving force behind Blanchon’s photos, each and every photo of his can be read in many different ways, for they are intricately embedded with an intrinsic meaning, or that is what I feel. I was truly honored when Cedric accepted my interview request. He is the man of the moment, and yet he is one humble, down to earth person that you will ever meet, so without much a do, Ladies and Gentlemen, please do welcome the winner of the 2013 Mobile Photography Award Grand Prize: Cedric Blanchon!
Henry, portrait of a cereal killer
DC- You are the man of the moment, and I am incredibly honoured to be able to interview you here! I came across your photo much before your great win at the Mobile Photography Award, and my true congratulations for that! As soon I saw your photos I was completely taken and although I have read and seen some of your incredible tutorials, I still cannot understand how you manage to create such amazing works of art, but we will talk about this just in a bit! To start with, however, I would love to know who truly is Cedric Blanchon, what can you tell us about yourself?
CB– So I shall introduce myself, my name is Cedric Blanchon I’m 34 years old, I have two children, I live in Troyes in France (approximately 200km from Paris), it is only just 2 years that I have started iPhoneography, and this has changed my life!
Smoking will kill me
DC- What is it that you do as your day job? Are you a professional graphic designer or a photographer?
CB- Oh no, not at all, I work in a real estate agency, I am a painter decorator, my days are like everyone’s else, except that I’m taking photos with my smartphone, it allows me to express myself, to be creative with this form of art I found a means of expression and to share with others, it’s like therapy for me, some will see a psychiatric, me I’m doing mobilephotography!
Follow me (the Brainwasher series)
DC- So how did photography entered in your life? What made you start snapping?
CB- One day I bought an iPhone, I was amazed by the capabilities of this device, at first I was doing short films for fun, I had fun to cut my movies, and then as I have always loved photography (when I was younger I had a polaroid) I started taking pictures, mainly in the street, at the beginning in black and white, I discovered the photo-sharing networks, and many incredible photographer and artist. I have always been imaginative and there I started to put myself on stage (I hadn’t much choice, I had only me as a model) and the editing always amused me!
Lose yourself in my mind (the Brainwasher series)
DC- When and what made you realise that the iPhone had great potential for what you wanted to do? What was, of course, if you remember the very first photograph that you took with your mobile and what device did you have at that time?
CB- I had an iphone4s, this is the beginning of my series Poladream, I simulate the grip of a pola, and I created some fun things with the phone, some of these were also surreal. It is at this point that I realized the potential of the iPhone and all the apps available; moreover, I believe that the imagination is very important. I had many very positive turns and this has pushed me further. For me this was really the beginning of everything that I’ve subsequently created
DC- I have purchased your E-book on the iBook Store, what a fantastic collection of street, black and white and coloured photographs, and while some of those are apped, however, these photographs are quite classic street takes, daily life, truly poignant moments by all means, and yet there is a significant difference with your recent work, so before we go into this, can you tell me more about your street photography:
DC- What is it that you want to show?
CB- I love street photography; I am a big fan of Robert Doisneau. Street photography is special, to capture moments of life is not easy, I have always wanted to show (especially on my ebook) the face and soul of hidden cities, most people show the Eiffel tower its many reflections in a puddle of water, it is very pretty and aesthetic but I prefer to show and photograph those who sleep under the bridges, not far away from the Eiffel Tower, you can see this in many of my photos, especially in my series the corporation for example. I always loved those who wanted to show the hidden things, we live in a world which I don’t find very pretty and to denounce it is a good thing, even if it is most of the time useless, with regards to the ebook, I would like to thank Tribegram and its creator Severine Mydame on IG, and thank you for having purchased it.
DC- You are more than welcome! I really loved it! Are you still into street-photography? Or, do you think you are moving away from it?
CB- I always take street photos, although less, I love experimenting with all genres and I do not want to be put into a box, I like to be surprised, and streetphotography will always do that to me!
DC- where do you go to catch your preys? Is there any particular location that you love and you keep going?
CB- I love taking pictures when there is fog for example, I do not really have a special place, I just need to feel it, however, when I go to Paris, I love taking photos in the streets, many of my photos of street (part of my ebook) are taken in Paris.
And we go leave in smoke our past memories
DC- what do you think that makes a perfect street photo?
CB- For me a good street photography is successful when you can smell the street.
Desperate house clothing
DC- HA!! BEST ANSWER EVER! Your recent work is just Magnificent! Surreal, to say the least; and the introduction to your work at the Mobile Photography Award page says that you: “display incredible dexterity as a traditional photographer whose imagination and skill with apps seems to have no boundaries. His strong personal messages are cryptic, disturbing, thought-provoking, and sometimes even witty.” I cannot but agree with every single word, so, my first question on this would be, how did you came across this style?
CB- I think I’ve always had this style in me, I kind a like experimenting with the surreal, dark humor, maybe I dare to do things that others do not dare. Cinema has had a huge influence on me and I try to reproduce that feel into my photos and through my work.
Human after all
DC- There is a strong story line and as they have mentioned it: there seems to be a personal message, which is quite cryptic, murky, incredibly thought provoking, and yet, at times disturbing, combined with a dark sense of humor. What is it that you are trying to say?
CB- it really depends, for the series of the corporation, I was heavily influenced by the black and white film Erasehead by David Lynch, the World of David Cronenberg and Shinya Tsukamoto, Franz Kafka and George Orwell and the movie la Jetée by Chris Marker, something dark, a futuristic universe where man is dependent of the machinery. The photos in this series depict the pipe and the organic hole, a mixture of technology and flesh, ultimately are always technologies like TV for example, that I try to condemn and criticize, I try to say be careful don’t be too dependent on it, the new videodrome series, or the brainwasher series talk about this being dependent. My photos also talk about the place of human beings in our society, what makes us human?
DC- Yes, what does really make us Humans… You are your own model, can you tell us more about the process of photo taking involved to create this work?
CB- I put myself on scene because I do not have anyone else to use.., I use camera + for its timer, I love to stage objects, it is very important to place some objects in my photos, as organic pipe that actually exists, I love those tinkering objects found after that in my photos
DC- How do you see the world around yourself?
CB- Let’s say I have a pretty dark vision of the future, but I believe in humans (some of my photos represent a fetus), I think my black humor comes from it, I prefer to laugh otherwise I would just cry.
DC- The surreal seems to be the driving force behind these photos, any source of inspiration? Each and every single photo of yours can be read in many different ways, for they are intricately embedded with an intrinsic meaning, or that is what I feel.. can you elaborate on this a little?
CB- The sources of my photos are mentioned earlier in the interview, for example overconsumption picture, there are two reading, or even three, first humor, surrealism, and then you can see a review on our consumer society, to want to eat too, literally we vomit, to want too possess things, these things eventually possess us!
The hunt is open
DC- That’s deep! I would love to see a complete tutorial of one photo that you are most fond off, would you like to make me happy?
CB- Yes of course with pleasure, I made a tutorial for: Henry’s portrait of a cereal killer; but I think the idea it’s most important than the edit.
DC- I completely agree, the idea is always more important than the edit! Although the edit is amazing and we will be posting it separately. Have you thought what is going to happen next? It, surely, is going to be a busy year for you, where do you want to take your work? What would you like to achieve?
CB- I Continue doing what I love, I am currently working for an exhibition at the Paul Toussaint empty space gallery, I wanted to show my work in real, a little out of the digital sphere and show my photos in galleries, it’s very important to me.
DC- Where can we find you?
Yes i know! my umbrella is pink!
DC- Is there anything that you would like to mention, or that I haven’t covered?
CB- No. Just perfect, this is the best interview I’ve done, This is the first time someone has bought my Ebook for an interview and to see all my work, thank you so much!
You also sell your chilhood memories ( the corporation series)
It was the best purchase in a long time, so I am the one that say Thank you ever so much for your time! And again, congratulations for your great win!
Your sexual hologram is ready