Rappahannock Review Contributor Spotlight: Interview with Fabrice Poussin
Rappahannock Review Art Editor: What would you say are the central themes of your work?
Fabrice Poussin: Central theme? It may not be a theme but a drive, and that would be passion, a need to use the camera and freeze a moment. I do work in the studio occasionally, but also love to use natural light and to photograph outside. I like the city and the country. I suppose it is for their majesty and their power. I look for power in everything, large and small. I believe it is the artist’s duty to provide those who do not have either the time or luxury to see the world, to offer them what we see, what we have time to see, so they too enjoy it more.
RR: Your works have attention-grabbing titles. Describe the significance of the titles and how you come up with them.
FP: Titles used to be very difficult to come up with. Then a great friend of mine suggested that in fact I needed, wanted to title my works, visual and written. I then realized, as it is with everything else, that in fact, it is really not that hard. I look at the work for a moment and seek out something special or unexpected. Then the title emerges, and it summarizes the life of the image.
RR: Describe your evolution as an artist in terms of medium, subject matter, and technique. How and at what point did you discover your unique artistic voice?
FP: Ah! A unique artistic voice! I wish I could say this. In reality I don’t take myself seriously at all. I enjoy what I do, and share it with those who want to take a minute and contemplate for themselves, what feelings it may awaken in them. Yet again, if I had to think of discovery, I would have to say that it is because a friend and supporter of mine suggested that I should simply try. Now I am more conscious of what I want to say. And really, it is simply to everyone: stop, slow down, look around; we do live in a amazing world; enjoy and take it all in. My voice in that sense could be loud, a scream in fact to call attention to the details. As in evolution; it has been going on for decades. It seems everyday I discover a new trick I can use, a new subject. Digital has helped a lot as it have given me a chance to photograph my subject matters in a myriad of angles. I could not have dreamed of before. I seek contrast, heavy contrast so the viewer can dive in the image. And I like to experiment with found objects.
RR: Do you stage your subject matter and/or edit your photos? To what extent do you alter your pictures, and what is your goal in doing (or not doing) so?
FP: This answer will build on the last one. I do very little if any editing at all. I may increase contrast, but that is the extent of it. I do not even crop my photos as I shoot them as I want them to be. In nature my frame is my only tool; in the studio I will use many light angles, and a variety of lights. When it comes to still lives I may position the objects and try different combinations, or simply photograph the subject as I have found it. The point is to take the photograph, and then to look at the results. I can easily shoot 1500 frames in one day. That is not work! The work comes later, and again not so much in altering but in choosing which image will have the greatest impact on the viewer, and on me first. It must be bright, contrasted, literally jump at me with something to say, almost something like: I am alive, come visit me.
Fabrice Poussin’s work appears in Issue 5.2 here.