Christopher Anderson – blue blanc rouge
3 november 2018 - 22 december 2018
The Ravestijn Gallery presents ‘Blue Blanc Rouge’, an exhibition featuring new work by the Canadian photographer Christopher Anderson. In this playful and poetic series, Andersons ties different images together in a stimulating way: portraits, candid moments, still lifes. They are photographs taken in passing, carefully arranged together. Some of these images tell a clear story; others are less straightforward or even stray towards the abstract. By showing these divergent, isolated moments as a collection, Anderson invites viewers to make connections themselves and to question their meaning and coherence.
A close-up of a face, a forgotten shoe, the interior of a car. Light reflected in a puddle of rain or in the windows of a skyscraper. Anderson presents his images as pieces of a puzzle. The common thread that ties it together, which audiences will discover themselves, is formed by a number of recurring visual elements: the colour red, specific forms and patterns, the type of sunlight that marks the end of the day. Together, these elements create a mysterious and elusive narrative, that will tempt the viewer into conversation with the work.
By observing the world through uninhibited and curious eyes, Anderson finds beauty in the smallest of details and the most trivial objects. For that reason, and in particular in this series, coincidence and association play an important part in his work. Anderson’s use of daylight is striking. Various scenes are drenched in the warm light offered by the sun as it lowers on the horizon, painting the world in a deep shade of red. In another image, the blue of twilight is juxtaposed with the last rays of the sun. Bright sunlight plays an exciting game with depth in other images. Sharp shadows draw lines through the image, giving Anderson’s work a pleasant clarity.
Together, the images in ‘Blue Blanc Rouge’ tell a story about big city life. Captured in the United States, France, Italy, Spain and Germany, the photographs depict broad streets, crowds of people, high buildings and skylines. Everything in motion – walking, waving, pointing, falling – yet entirely still. In this dynamic between movement and stillness, Anderson flirts with the nature and language of cinema; ‘Blue Blanc Rouge’ resembles a series of stills from a never- made movie. Each image is a moment distilled from a larger narrative, just as the city is a mosaic of different lives, stories and captured moments.
Christopher Anderson is one of the most influential contemporary photographers of his generation. He first gained recognition in 1999 when he boarded a small wooden boat loaded with with 44 Haitian immigrants trying to sail to America. The boat sank in the Caribbean. The images, commissioned by the New York Times Magazine, would receive the Robert Capa Gold Medal in 2000.
Since then, Anderson’s work has defied categorization as he slips between the worlds of documentary, art, commercial and fashion photography.
From 2011 to 2013 Christopher was New York Magazine’s first ever “Photographer in Residence”, a collaboration that helped shaped the current visual identity of the magazine. Christopher photographed the last portrait sitting of President Barack Obama in the White House and the first of Donald Trump in the Oval Office.
The author of five monographs of photography, his current book, Approximate Joy, released two weeks ago and acclaimed in The New Yorker, is currently exhibiting at the Danziger Gallery in New York City.
Christopher was born in western Canada and grew up in Texas, was naturalized as a French citizen in 2017. He currently lives in Barcelona.