…”Jacques Olivar is one of the photographers with whom models prefer to work, in light of the fact that they shoot their most beautiful photos with him”…
Canal+ fashion documentary on Jacques Olivar. (Nd
Jacques Olivar is a unique case of talent along with an intriguing personality.His work in the field of fashion photography is substantial and super creative. He began working in fashion in 1987 and collaborated with the most prestigious international magazines: Italian Marie-Claire, British Vogue, Italian Uomo Vogue, French Glamour, German Vogue, Vogue Homme International, French Marie-Claire, Marie-Claire Bis and Marie-Claire USA.
He also joined forces with the major clothing designers, and was put in charge of creating their image: Giorgio Armani, Hermès, Comme des Garçons, Céline, Trussardi, Strenesse, Rykiel, etc. Emotion, elegance and beauty are the constant key elements that are at the core of Jacques Olivar’s photographic works.
The sophistication reflected in his photos is never arrogant or inaccessible. It is always a combination of simple elements, which are brought together and result in a beautifully harmonious effect.
True to his conception of humanity, his photography is sensitive before being technical and its modern character first and foremost results from the casual elegance of the women he photographs, who know that very few other photographers take such beautiful photos of them.
I owe this interview idea to a dear friend (and exceptional photographer himself) and,of course, to Mr Jacques Olivar himself,who kindly unfolded his ideas and inspirations via ‘the SybiliaStyle questions’.Enjoy.
-What mostly influenced you to get involved with fashion/art?
When a kid, my parents used to buy me art books about painters. Remember being very sensitive toward the beauty of the images reproducing the best paintings of the whole world.
I used to spend hours with those awasome images. I couldn’t sleep sometimes untill 4 or 5 in the morning , cause I wasn’t feeling how the hours were passing so fast.
I was very young, may be 8 or 9, so I had to wake up quite early to go to school but I was feeling such a passion discovering those Art books .Very soon I felt I had to express myself in any manner, as a necessity.
So I drew paintings for quite a long time .
I remember this tremendous pleasure, getting in the paper, what I had in my mind.
I guess ,that in my whole life untill now, I’m obsessed by the necessity of perfection induced by those years of Art discovery.
Photography appeared to me as an evident and modern tool to give one’s imagination fantasy ,a free strain.
-How you will describe your personal aesthetics/vision?
I was born in Casablanca and due to the many American Army bases standing in Morocco, we used to have all the american movies productions of the 50’s and 60’s.
Have been from very young ,totally influenced by those wonderful colours ,atmospheres and elegance of those hollywoodians classical Works of Art.
Alfred Hitchcock was one of them, cause although being British, he was envolved into american productions.
“North by Northwest” & “Vertigo” stood for me until now the height of elegance and mistery together.I had the chance to meet him in Marrakech, when he came to film “The man who knew too much .“
– Is there something you ‘like to do/work for and haven’t done it so far?
I’m a storyteller and fashion photography is for me the most immediate media, able to reproduce my imagination’s itinerary. I’m trying to tell a whole story in a single picture .So in a way, it’s a kind of never ending story. It means, I’m always waiting for the next one to persue my image’s adventure. And this is my next and only goal, cause it will produce some pictures good enough ,to be present in the fascinating Fine Art planet. My last book “Forever Young” edited by TeNeues is an alive journey through my 10 last seasons. I’m now working on my next book which will be a flight over my 40 years of photography .
-Are there any contemporary (or older) creative that influenced you?
As I said, Hitchcock, was one of my main influences.Since then, people like David Lynch or Gus Van Sant or Terence Malick are today’s artists I deeply respect and keep them always somewhere in my mind .I guess I met them and they touched me in a moment I was ready for the encounter. Anyway, I’m always aware that all those great artists , painters, writers like Jack Kerouac, William Burroughs ,Scott Fitzgerald,Tenessee Williams, John Steibeck ,moovie makers, musicians like Robert Johnson,Janice Joplin , Bob Dylan,Tom Waits ,still are the soundtrack of my photographic vision today,cause my pictures are images of course ,but if you listen to them ,you’ll hear music between lights and shadows.
Jacques Olivar is currently represented by Valerie Martinez in Paris, http://firstname.lastname@example.org
«Young Gallery» in Bruxelles
«Galerie Galartis» in Lausanne
«Galerie Bettina» in Paris
Bibliography: Photobook «Forever Young» by Jacques Olivar edited by teNeues Editions.