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HomeContents > People > Photographers > René De Carufel

Dates:  1954, 3 September -
Born:  Canada, QC, Montreal
Active:  Canada
Canadian commercial photographer who has completed a project photographing photographers. 
Artist statement: 
"What is Photography? Let me propose a simple answer: a way to say something about reality and about oneself.
Reality, is there such a thing? Another question with as many answers as there are individuals, each perceiving reality through their own distorted lens.
I am passionate about creating images that wouldn‘t exist without my own intervention. True, even in the case of documentary photography there is intervention. With the click of the shutter an image is recorded that otherwise wouldn‘t exist, reflecting a certain reality, shaped in large part by the individual bias of the eye behind the lens. In my work I push this intervention one step further.
I hope my work reveals the expression of a poetic imagination, the evocative power of an image to provoke a feeling.
For many years, I have been fascinated by the human body; through time I discovered that it was the quintessential photographic subject for me. Infinitely varied and subtle, endlessly expressive and inspiring. For an artist, a subject inexhaustible in its scope. Equally immeasurable is its potential to evoke memories and emotional response in the viewer, drawn to its beauty and erotic power.
I think that how one relates to an image is a highly subjective experience, it can evoke any latent memory of one‘s life.
The portraits I am presently shooting for the book "The Photographer‘s Vision" accord with my desire to create a not so real image stripped down to the bare essentials. The portraits are shot in extreme close-up, dispensing with the particularities of clothing and background to create an almost unnatural intimacy with the subject. In an instant, I seek to capture an intense expression in suspended animation.
The creative process is largely a process of loosing control of the experience." (April 2006)

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René De Carufel
Biographical Notes

After a decision to leave behind the University studies which would have led to a career in medicine, René De Carufel headed to the United States to study photography and there he discovered his true passion and vocation. Upon his return in 1975, he launched his career as a professional photographer. This move was challenging and difficult in the beginning, but an exhibition at the Bibliothèque Nationale de Québec entitled Les danseurs (The Dancers) helped to propel him towards a wider recognition.
For many years, the commercial work and artistic creation held equal importance in the studio. In the early 1980's, feeling a need to enlarge his scope and field of endeavor, René enrolled in the Cinematography program at Concordia University. He shot several films in 16mm some of which went on to be selected for International Film Festivals. During this period he travelled extensively through Europe, Africa, and Central America, shot videos and completed several journalistic photography assignments.
During the 1990's, two children were born and the new role of father inspired an intensely creative period. Several evenings a week were dedicated to the studio, giving birth to the exhibition Femmes en couleur (Women in Colour), and eventually led him to create a virtual photography gallery on the internet as a way to bring his work to a wider audience; today there are more than 100,000 visitors to the site each year.
When a new century came knocking at the door, René enthusiastically plunged headfirst into the new era of digital technology. From this moment on, he would shoot mainly with high quality digital cameras, Photoshop (a tool he had already mastered) would become the new darkroom, a move eminently suited to his creative imagination.
A career that spans more than 25 years, thousands upon thousands of images have formed in René De Carufel an original and articulate photographic vision. He continues to embark upon new photographic projects, always pushing the envelope creativity and experimentation a little further.
Used with permission (2006)  
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