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Chocolate

THE CHOCOLAT POLAROID EXHIBITION

Those who have been following Marc Lagrange’s long career, will attest to his passion for light and beauty. As of the early nineties, he started working quite intensively with Polaroid film and his nudes - or portraits, as he would prefer to call them - found a more intense, more touching, more human look. Despite the immediacy of the Polaroid, it really can’t be compared to digital photography; it has much more in common with analogue photography, which Marc loved more than anything.

The image appears in a matter of seconds – 30, to be precise – which makes it the perfect medium for professional photo studios, as a means of determining whether changes need to be made to lighting, make-up or clothing. Crews would often take them home as souvenirs!

Lagrange, of course, saw a much larger potential. The medium was perfect for his personal artistic vision and sense of aesthetics, the sensuality it exudes and that typical je-ne-sais quoi, which make his work so recognisable.

As far as he was concerned, this technique was at least equal to all the other methods he used and it actually ended up becoming one of his hallmarks.

His Polaroids contain a well-considered spontaneity and freshness, while also emanating a certain duality. The rapidity of the technique and its characteristic result allowed him to craft an authentic sense of beauty. "Therein lies my ambition: to place the durability and significant immobility of the photograph opposite the speed of our daily world. My settings are places for dreams, for the imaginary to prevail.”

The Chocolate Polaroid Exhibition presents a selection of hitherto unpublished work. Aside from displaying Lagrange’s inimitable style and his quest for the perfect synergy of beauty and emotion, the exhibition also sheds light on the amazing journey of his extensive career, from the flamboyant sets to the pure sculptural simplicity of his later work.

Marc Lagrange absolutely loved the Polaroid 100 Chocolate film, a limited and very rare edition that only landed in a few select hands. Its unique process is quite different from other Polaroid films. But, as Marc used to say: “photographs are taken by photographers, not by cameras”. Lagrange had an exceptional talent for portraying breath-taking beauty and timeless elegance - be it passionately or tenderly - which came into its own through the particularities of this Polaroid edition. The shadows colour chocolate brown, the highlight appear creamy, making the Chocolate Polaroid a perfect fit for Marc Lagrange’s black and white aesthetics, increasing the intimacy factor even more.

Antwerp, 2012