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Reflections on COVER

The images in COVER are from a series of Fréderic Gilles’ daily interactions with front page photos from the International edition of the New York Times. Gilles pays homage to the humanity of those photographed. His expert handling of pastel and other media is charged with meaning. Subtle marks reveal minute details of hands, eyes, a child or a pattern while bold erasures shield or conceal subjects from our view. His political knowledge, awareness and empathy offer a new perspective on each visual situation, a perspective that may not reflect that of the photographer behind the lens, nor that of the illustrious New York Times—mainstream media at its most powerful. The newspaper fights to dominate the small installation space; text surrounds each painterly intervention, headings that belittle Biden’s efforts, or rage against Taliban, and Bolsonaro. But unlike mainstream media that often fuels condemnation and hate, Gilles’ transformed images elicit compassion. The fragility of newsprint underscores the vulnerability of those re-presented. Fréderic Gilles’ engagement constitutes a resistance. 

© 2022 Frances Charteris


EXPOSITION JUSQU'AU 22 JANV. 2022 - 77, rue Amelot, 75011 paris.