To the public at large, the matter is closed: Lucien Clergue is the specialist in nudes, of those beautiful bodies of women in the midst of sand and waves one frames over the mantle piece. The character, born in 1934, is a lot more interesting than that, if for no other reason than the fact he is one of the founders of the famous Rencontres photographiques in Arles (his native town), undoubtedly the best known festival in this specialty. Thanks to Gabriel Bauret’s talented pen, we relive the exciting years of these creations in 1976 but also what preceeds: learning to develop with the neighborhood baker, his brief career as a toreador, his friendships with Picasso and Cocteau. And the major themes that punctuated his work, Arles in ruins after the war, the Camargue region, from the gypsies to the bullfights. In short, various lives concentrated in one, well justifying his recent election to the Académie des beaux-arts…
• Lucien Clergue, by Gabriel Bauret, éditions La Martinière, 2007, ISBN : 978-2-7324-3569-5, 232 p., 50 €.
Review published in the newsletter #62 - from 18 October 2007 to 24 October 2007