" It's a question for me to create a particular ambiance where the model could give more than I'm waiting ! The whole must be always superior to the sum of the parts. The model must know how she's beautiful, magnificent and that she poses divinely. I tell her, I guide her until she really becomes what I'm telling about her. From there, this atmosphere of grace." Mic Ardant
Mic, tell us how did your passion begin ? I'm sure it's a nice story.
Rather late, about 22 years. Well, I crossed every day Boulevard Raspail (Paris, France), near the French Alliance, from where came in and out all day a swarm of attractive girls.
"Definitively I love You"
Art Model Elena
Art Model Elena
On the same pavement, a bookshop proposed the American publications of "Popular Photography", on which I rushed. There were "Photographer Annual" and "Woman". I still possess them and even a fabulous issue of "Woman" on which I felt accidentally, with surprise, in a bookshop of Istambul.
Naturally, as all the amateurs, I wished absolutely and crazily a Nikon F. What attracted me was the possibility to use a very long focal, allowing me to capture incognito scenes taken on the deep.
A day, I went into a quite small shop of a photographer on Fleurus street, in Paris, to ask him some advices. Finally, reasonable in any point of view, I purchased a Standard Canon FX.
Art Model Sandra
You seem to prefer studio shootings ?
I prefer indoor shoots because it's easier for me than to work outdoors. But I love the sea, the dunes, the swamps, the ponds, the water finally.
I love also the sad landscapes, the loaded sets 1900 style, as those sooted by the brilliant photographer W. Pawelec and Irina Ionesco. And the abandoned cemeteries under the moon, the freeway car parks.
I am fascinated by Sam Haskin's clichés whose the talent had been revealed in France by the magazine "Lui". I still possess all his photobooks and one or two of his pentax calendars, that I finally get. I also love David Hamilton, Irina Ionesco, Bill Brandt, Bob Guccione (the boss and the star photographer of Penthouse) and very numerous painters. Among others Magritte, Vermeer, Klimt, Bonnard, Balthus, Paul Delvaux, Leonor Fini, etc.
Art Model Sophie
Art Model Sophie
Talking together for this interview, I felt how much you're a passionate. How long could you be far from your camera ?
I can certainly live without my Nikon D100, but not without paper nor pencil.
Impossible not to write when I don't shoot.
Besides, I was sometimes surprised noticing in moments of a little bit heavy solitude, that to walk in the countryside with my camera allowed me to feel less alone, lighter.
Mic Ardant, the writer :
Art Model Beatrix
" I always wanted to install me in a hurdy-gurdy house with the thick walls, with a garden between the veranda and the sea which was to strike the rocks, beyond that, to about fifty meters, without anything other between my ground and the strike, which genets and the way known as " of the customs officers ".
Therefore when I visited, keys in hands, the masonry to be sold, I wished to only do it and in all peace. I inspected the house of the cellar to the attic while trying to imagine the various existences which had been able to run out between these old walls.
With the attic under old carpet, I updated, in a cloud of dust, a trunk of old voyage, with the old blackened wood, which released by opening it a perfume of sandal and a thick cloud of multicoloured butterflies which passed very close to me the face by taking again their freedom.
However I realized at once that it was not of butterflies but about remains of dreams which did not belong to me. It has been for that day that I make photography…"
"Precedence and Convolutions"
Art Model Brandy
French version : " J’avais toujours cette envie de m’installer dans une vieille maison aux murs epais, avec un jardin entre la véranda et la mer qui devait frapper les rochers, au delà, à une cinquantaine de mètres, sans rien d’autre entre mon terrain et la grève, que des genets et le chemin dit « des douaniers ».
Aussi lorsque je visitais, clefs en mains, la bâtisse à vendre, je désirais le faire seul et en toute tranquillité.
J’inspectais la maison de la cave au grenier en tentant d’imaginer les différentes existences qui avaient pu s’écouler entre ces vieux murs.
Au grenier sous de vieux tapis, je mis à jour, dans un nuage de poussières, un coffre de voyage ancien, au vieux bois noirci, qui dégagea en l’ouvrant un parfum de santal et un nuage dense de papillons multicolores qui me frôlèrent le visage en reprenant leur liberté.
Pourtant je m’aperçus aussitôt qu’il ne s’agissait pas de papillons mais de débris de rêves qui ne m’appartenaient pas. C’est depuis ce jour-là que je fais des photos…"
What is your process of creation ? Have you some secret recipes ?
I haven't a particular process of creation. Ideas come to me, I note them. Sometimes I try to summarize them by making a sketch in a special pad. I use them almost never, but they are available in case of "breakdown".
Art Model Amandine-Chérie
Art Model Amandine-Chérie
In the course of a session, I am connected to the inspiration. It is the key point which allows me to bring out there, as a cat which falls of the third floor on its legs.I possess a big ease of improvisation. And thus the possibility of adapting me to the model to create a privileged ground of communication.
We can feel it... As we can feel your philosophy in your titles. About your gorgeous models, do you find them easily ? In what kind of ambiance do like to work ?
In Paris we find easily models. Any sorts of models !
For my friends, generally after a session I am very depressed ! I look at my photos and it's always like shit… Because the photo sessions have to take place in a perfect climate. It's a question for me to create a particular ambiance where the model could give more than I'm waiting ! The whole must be always superior to the sum of the parts.
"Témoignage d'un Etat Emotionnel"
Art Model Sonia
The young woman must know how she's beautiful, magnificent and that she poses divinely. I tell her, I guide her until she really becomes what I'm telling about her. From there, this atmosphere of grace.
Once finished, I can only find my photos flat, regarding the stimulation we lived.
In my head always resounds her laughter. And her perfume which has not abandoned me yet. All the photographers know this spleen, I believe. It' equal to this famous sadness after love. I want to say after a satisfactory sexual relation. It's paradoxical, and a commonplace. Of course, there are not other relations than artistic, naturally, but without any doubt a channeling of the absolute desire which finds its road through the objective… Then, I'm disillusioned. Anyway, some days later, at last, I'm ready to rediscover my clichés with foreign eyes, not too much disenchanted…
Art Model Lucina
Art Model Lucina
I understand what you mean... Curiously, writing gives me the same feelings. Mic, are you perfectionist ?
A photo must tell a story, suggest something. To suggest is better because every one interpret according to his/her own fantasies.
I am too conscious of the speed of consumption of a photo. Some seconds, hardly, all statistics prove it.
So, I don't work for the ultimate perfection, I don't analyse all details. I respect those who do it, but it's not my case.
Do you feel the end of a shooting ? Something telling you "it's over !" ?
Anything is never finished, fortunately, otherwise why keep going on ?
You're so right... What do you prefer between writing and photography ?
The writing gets me much more pleasure than the photography, because my words come out mainly from me. In photography, there too many unexpected events. And the model is much more important than me, because without her, I'm nothing !
Have you scheduled your next exhibition ?
I am not tempted by the exhibitions, otherwise on certain conditions. First that my photos be enlarged at least in 1,20 mX1,80 m, and that I do absolutely nothing !
What's for your next future ?
Yes, to make some more photos with my preferred models, and to discover new beautiful ones.
What is for you the dangerous point not to cross in photography ?
Banality and arrogance ! Nothing more unbearable !
Thank you Mic for your kindness ! Come back soon !