Laurent Chehere only began exhibiting his photography in 2012—before then, he was solely known as an award-winning editorial and commercial photographer. His art photography consists in flying houses.
Laurent Chéhère is a french artist, born in 1972 at the foot of the parisian hill of Ménilmontant, a neighborhoods he explores with the same unceasing curiosity as he does in Bamako, Lhasa, Tokyo, Valparaiso or Srinagar.
A shift in interest led Chéhère to leave advertising behind to travel around the world. It was during this that he began to kindle his love for architecture and its narrative possibilities. Chéhère’s most famous series, titled “Flying Houses” (2012–), is comprised of fictional buildings suspended above backdrops of clouded skies. Each image is a composite of up to a dozen real buildings, homes, tents, and trailers that Chéhère has photographed in similar lighting conditions, and composited using Photoshop. Chéhère describes the series as a means to help buildings tell their stories, whether “real or not, funny or sad.”
Early on his life, he was immersed in the images of popular culture. His father would make scripted holiday films with his Super 8 camera, his mother transmits the virus of drawing and his brothers was passionate by theater… and the young Laurent? He dreams in the atelier of his grand father Joseph, a house painter and typographer of a village in Normandy. To his young eyes, the place was extraordinary as Alibaba’s cave. Of course it’s not enough to be an artist but you never know! Thus, he came to spend the last 20 years traveling around the world taking photographs starting with his own city. A veritable tower of Babel where you can meet the world crossing the street.
These working class neighborhoods of Paris are his playing field, his principal source of inspiration, his own point of departure and arrival. It’s here in the places, where every street corner offers an escape through the foreigners accents, the spice perfumes, the orientation of satellite dish, that he discovered a passion for travel, and for people and stories from around the world. It’s there, also, where he returns to better tell these stories. And Because his inspiration are numerous and varied, he was chosen to bring them together in these flying houses that carry their univers, their atmosphere, their history, everything that the artist wanted to put there, but also everything the public will want to see there.
See also Art photography: Maïmouna Guerresi HERE!