We interviewed Parisian photographer Thomas Paquet about his new work ‘Body.’ Here Thomas talks about the idea of perfection, the rise of digital airbrushing, and the difference between the body and the real.
1. What is it about the body that inspired you to create these photographs?
My photographers gaze leads me to see that there is a trend towards standardization in the advertising world, press photography, and even more so artistic photography. Our world is steeped in images which are heavily photoshopped, often excessive or become to obvious. The availability of digital tools has amplified this, and has led to an unrealistic standardization of the representation of the body. The starting point for the creation of these images, is the desire to play on our belief in the representation of the body and the real.
2. I see that there is variation in the types of bodies used. It seems you’ve purposely strayed way from the ‘perfect’ body so to speak. Was it important to have that variation in body types, and to eliminate the idea of perfection in these images?
All these bodies are very singular. Sometimes strange and elastic, these bodies can vary in size, seem disproportionate, can seem unreal. So it is no coincidence that I move away from the usual criteria for what can be called ‘perfection,’ as I look towards the unique and strangeness which drives my research and desire to show the diversity of the body in my work.
3. What do you hope visitors will take away from your exhibition? Is there a particular message you aim to get across with the body project?
Above all, I try to provoke an emotion, an aesthetic feeling related to tension and stress of the body. I also like the viewer to question the veracity of the images, it is the question of the intrusive use of digital tools and editing my photos.
I want the viewer to imagine the use of excessive retouching on an image that is not modified, and not see, on the contrary, the use of retouching on a another image. The idea is ultimately to play up to ‘cliches,’ and disturb the look.
Check out more of Thomas Paquet’s work here