Fashion was Irving Penn’s springboard. The glamorous worlds of Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue in which he worked from the 30’s through to the 50’s – after which he founded his own studio in New York – were the creative hotbeds in which the American photographer could give full rein to his passions: his love for simplicity of composition and his cultivation of intimacy with the characters he took as his subject.
French florist based in Brussels, who has collaborated with Dries Van Noten, Sofia Coppola and Mario Testino.
Has Irving Penn's work had an influence on you?
He influences me like other artists who are searching for the literal identity of the flower. Since I was a child, I’ve been interested by flowers in different media, poetry, cinema, and photography.
What do Penn’s Flower series evoke for you?
A research of the absolute, of going into depth without any superficiality. I'm interested in flowers in all their representations: from natural to virtual. What I like about Penn’s Flower series is his psychological reading of the flower.
Does it correspond with how you see flowers or how you aim to represent them?
Yes, in their fragility and texture, grain and sensuality and death. I love dead flowers, the research of death in nature. Penn looks for the identity of the flowers as he does his research into the identity of his human subjects. With Penn, we are doing a ‘second reading’ of the flower. It’s no longer only for their ornamental function but more for their own identity. He photographs the flower’s textural realities: we can feel the grain and its fragility. Penn treats the flower like human skin, without artifice.