When talking about his photographs, Gilbert Garcin has been referred to as the “cousin of Jacques Tati” or the “spiritual relative of Rene Magritte.” The master of the surrealist genre came to photography late in life. After closing his lamp factory, he began to engage in art and photography upon retiring at 65, attending several workshops at the festival Rencontres de Photographie in Arles. After that, he embarked on his second successful career, which has continued up to now.
In the style of an all-rounder in the tradition of the conventional comic Monsieur Hulot, Garcin has been going through his own odyssey, in which social critique, humor, and a strong sensibility for everyday stories are decisive factors.
"But behind my pictures, none of the stories have an ending," says the artist. "I'm just trying to create spaces within which the viewer can project his own ideas and invent his own adventure."
As a sensitive observer with a fine sense for fresh stagings, Garcin creates a fictitious cosmos of images in which he and his wife repeatedly appear. Within his sometimes ironic self-stagings, the entire spectrum of human comedy seems to be explored. Each of his minimalist photographs is like a theatrical act played out on the obscure stage of life. Gilbert Garcin is not only a director, stage designer, and photographer. In his garden shed, he creates – with scissors, adhesives, photographic self-portraits and paper in black cartons – magical little analogue works and worlds which he then photographs, always in black and white.