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Get in the picture with photographer Jean Pierrot

From bitter Slovenian winters to walking barefoot in the jungles of the middle Pacific, “where it’s lustful and warm and everything is blooming and bursting”, twenty-year-old photographer Jean Pierrot’s life is a playground of contrast and experience. After receiving his first digital camera as a gift from an aunt at age 14, a love-affair with the medium flourished. His passion gradually transitioned to film photography, a seductive medium that best captured the effortless affection of Pierrot’s nostalgic eye, and where the delicacy of his work could be portrayed through vintage, grainy film to emphasise the raw beauty of his subjects: the female silhouette, a washed up shell or a timeworn palm tree.

“When it comes to taking an image, it’s the moment.”

Now, with his limited edition self-published debut book Romance, Pierrot shares his vision as a whole.“[Romance] in its core tries to tells my story of remoteness from everyday life that a romance can be. It’s my falling in love, embodied and dissected in a book that is no statement but merely a personal album of memories. It demystifies an intimate process we all unknowingly undertake at least once.” Within the pages of the publication, Pierrot allows you into this private world, enabling a shift in perspective and appreciation for natural and faded beauty. “The book … is more of an album of memories than a planned concept,” he explains. “It was photographed in a span of four years plus a year of editing and production. Story of my romance is visualised in six chapters by twenty-one friends, girlfriends and models.” For the cover art he worked alongside friend and artist John Zabawa. “I wanted a very minimal artwork capturing a general mood of the book from a very beginning and I liked Zabawa’s simple cut-outs so I asked him if he wanted to do it,” Pierrot explains. “The cut-out I used for the back cover of the book is the very first thing he showed me, but I kind of made him do around 10 more artworks after that one. This same process was repeated in almost every aspect of the making of this book. I think John and I, we even might have very different interpretations of the artwork. Which makes me like it even more.”

“I believe it happened many times in history, that we’ve reached a peak, an optimal state in certain areas like design, photography, architecture, and even in a way of living.”

Using time as a filter for his hazy aesthetic, Pierrot’s photographs translate his great respect for creativity and the exposure of emotional recollection. His chosen locations are crucial to the narrative of each image, a favourite being the stunning Island of Favignana, part of the Egadi Islands off southern Italy, where white plastered buildings, turquoise oceans and native Mediterranean shrubs backdrop the contours of his beautiful subjects. Pierrot’s work is cultured, mature and echoes an abyssal adoration for the female form. In short, it’s all love.

“It’s not really that the past inspires my photography but more that the present daunts me to an extent where I had to identify eras that are essentially more appealing to me.”