“My photography removes the superfluous and the distractions from the image in an attempt to free us from some of the chaos that surrounds us. This exploration hopes to challenge the viewer into finding a ‘new way of seeing.’”
Jacques Garnier was born in Los Angeles, California in 1948 and earned a Master’s Degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1971.
Garnier’s work has been shown and collected in museums, academic institutions, and galleries in the United States, Europe and China. Garnier’s major bodies of work explore the space between the world and the individual, an often detached and disconnected area. His photographic observations reflect the isolation felt by many in a world changing at a logarithmic pace, where technology tugs at the edges of humanity.
Painterly, sparse and often formal, Jacques Garnier’s transcendent photography documents the passage of time. With intuitive framing, his images convey a sense of history and space left to its own demise. Fragile yet bold, these intimate details of interior landscapes reflect an era where the past is pushed into the background, where shadows and memory replace a presence that is no longer here. What is left is a world of “becoming” that has not yet found its way into the future.
Over the past decade, Garnier has concentrated on imagery of urban redistribution in the American landscape, vestiges of populations gone and all–too-quickly-forgotten. While photographing their remains as part archaeology, part documentation and part voyeurism a reconstructive history begins to unfold and as R.D. Laing reminds us: “We live in a moment of history where change is so speeded up that we begin to see the present only when it is already disappearing.”
Garnier continues to explore these disappearing landscapes and man’s relationship to his environment. This theme is emphasized in his work as president of The Legacy Project (a 15 year documentary project of shuttered military bases also producing the World’s Largest Photograph), in “Second Chances” (an exploration of land use and migration in the Mojave Desert) and in “Non-Places” and “Made/Unmade” (divergent looks at man’s disconnection from the people and places in our modern society), “Revival” (an observation on man’s struggles to live with Nature), “LA Icons” (a nostalgic view of Los Angeles unique architecture) and more recently “re[VOIR]” a black & white series utilizing negative space in an effort to encourage contemplation and introspection.
In 2004, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art purchased a portfolio of Garnier’s photographs from their permanent collection. In 2005, he received a photography and solo exhibition commission from the Southeast Museum of Photography for their permanent collection. In 2006, Garnier was one of six artists who transformed an F-18 jet hanger into the world’s largest camera to make the World’s Largest Photograph, a huge transitional statement marking the end of 168 years of traditional film based photography and the commencement of the digital dominance.
Photographer, documentarian and lecturer, the award winning Jacques Garnier has participated in over 150 exhibitions, most recently including LACMA, Southeast Museum of Photography, the Chinese Academy of Fine Art in Beijing, China, PhotoNola and the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum.