Alain Cornu is a French photographer, he lives and works in Paris. Cornu creates in studios but also in open air, they range from portraits to still life, whether it’s through orders or for his personal work. He also uses old procedures to create landscape pictures with the help of an exterior darkroom. In 2007, he was rewarded by the Kodak talent grant, this was followed by the public award at the Montpelier festival in 2010.
His work is now presented in several public institutions like the musée des arts décoratifs in Paris or the Fonds National d’Art Contemporain.
“I have no concept, I simply want to see the city differently. I’m satisfied when viewers take ownership of my images and create the stories for themselves. I hope that people will enjoy looking at these photos as much as I enjoy making them”.
“I wanted to set my story at night, when the city, like a big animal that ran all day long, gets her breath back and finds its intimacy. The artificial lights structure the space and help me compose my images. Historically, Paris was the first city to have street lighting in the XVII century, what gave her the name of ville lumière: the city of lights”
Where do you get your inspiration ?
As a photographer, I’m a watcher and my inspiration is conditioned by reality. It’s nourished by readings, exhibitions, encounters and many other things. More precisely, the series on the rooftops of Paris is a combination of two elements. At first, the city I love and where I live and then the light, the essential material in photography. I always try to find balance and harmony by associating architecture and light.
Which is the relationship and influence between your cultural background (country, studies, etc…) and your artworks?
I have a classical culture. When I was a teenager, I practised drawing, painting, sculpture and photography. Then, I directed my studies to the artistic domain and finally, I entered a school of photography. At the same time, I was fascinated by History, so I travelled in Greece, Italy and some other countries. Art, History and Photography have in common the memory of Human spirit and I’m very interested in these domains.
What are you much focused in?
When I take pictures, I put myself in a contemplative state which makes me look things differently. And, besides composition, I’m focused in details, matters, and light. Working in long exposures with a large format camera allows me to reveal things that eyes can’t discern.
Have you encountered any difficulties when you first started your art / freelance career ?
I got into difficulties when I started my career and now it’s similar. Sometimes it makes me feel that I began yesterday! But I’m also aware that I’m blessed to exercise my passion by doing my job. It’s so rare. I keep in mind this sentence :
«Art is born in constaint, grows up in fight and dies in freedom».
Over these years, what is the most important thing you have learnt from your profession ?
I learnt that creation is the most beautiful activity in life.
Do you think that a creative job is just creativity or it’s discipline too ?
If he wants results, an artist has to work hard every day and as nobody but him asks for it, he must be disciplined. Also, through his work, he lays bare in showing his sensibility. So he must be enough structured himself to face the look of other one and possibly be critiqued.
Are you currently work on new projects ?
Yes, now I work on a new series of landscapes in the heart of nature. You know, I’m from the countryside and I need the balance between city and nature. I also set up still lifes in studio. Working in studio is important for me because it’s demanding and allows me to learn the light again and again.
Artist Website > www.alaincornu.com
(Interview > Source)