Hamid Blad (Algeria, 1966) is first of all, a self-made photographer. He began his artistic career in traditional film photography. The grains, the old processes or alternatives had immediately fascinated him. After years of digital photography, he felt the need to find less smooth images. For ten years now, he practices only « slow photography » but at a very high speed. This does not imply that the photographer remains inactive during the shooting. His personal work consists mainly of the encounter of the contemporary image with the timeless processes. This confrontation is an essential part of his vision.
Hamid Blad lives and works in Paris and London.
On a German online dating site for men, one comes across these men in their early twenties. They often have different profiles, fantasies of a multiplied identity allowed by the virtual world. The pictures presented here are sensual, smooth and provocative. They resemble pages from a catalogue, one enjoys browsing to distill all kinds of information, before settling on a choice. All of these so-called escorts are either students of have jobs. This episodic occupation allows them to make ends meet each month. To rent a young man for an evening seems no longer taboo.
The photos preserve the anonimity of the participants, slowness implied by the chemical process, definition of the pause timing, positioning in front of the lens, a shared moment of photographic intimacy. In this series, the body becomes almost tangible; the collodion technique captures the skin texture, the delicacy of a gesture, the softness of the light, as well as shapes the silhouette. The portrait becomes an object in the very last phase of the process: printing on a newspaper page.
Hamid Blad created Barbie portraits with unprecedented love. Love for the characters, who all got a coiffure and a beautifully designed garment. But also love for photography, because the chemical processes of a nineteenth-century technique gave each lady her own, almost surreal presentation.
He has made twenty portraits: of Adriana, Amanda, Anja, Barbie, Brenda, Candice, Carrie, Donna, Gysele, Joan, Kahina, Kate, Levy, Miranda, Monica, Nadja, Penelope, Pipa, Rachel and Samantha.
Blad: “I try to humanize them, to give them a real face with their imperfections, to the limit of surreality, through the richness of detail and optical blur. I choose to work with ancient processes such as collodion. It’s a return to the origins of photography. It brings its imperfections and artifacts. This brings also its beauty in a barbie-esque way.”
Nov. 2014 Solo Exhib. «Barbie Blad » – Galerie Idea, Mois Off de la Photo Paris
Sept.-Dec. 2014 Solo Exhibition « Corps Anonymes » – Duplex, Paris
June 2014 Collective Exhibition « Barbie Blad » Galerie Imagineo, Paris
June 2014 Solo Exhibition «Corps Anonymes» – Galerie Robinson (photo agency
Sept. 2013 Collective Exhibition -“Fait Divers”- Centre Photographique IRIS
July 2011 Solo Exhibition -“Ouvert /Fermé » – Duplex, Paris
July 2010 Collective Exhibition – Duplex, Paris
May 2009 Collective Exhibition – Photo club de Bièvre, Paris
June 2008 Solo Exhibition – “Portraits” – Office Franco-Allemande, Paris
FISHEYE Magazine, article, Issue Nov. 2013
Hamid Blad (Algerije, 1966) runt een fotostudio in Parijs gespecialiseerd in edele procedé’s. Hij fotografeert vooral portretten en verhalende series. Zijn persoonlijke projecten bestaan veelal uit de verbintenis tussen een eigentijds beeld en een tijdloos proces.
See all work …by Hamid Blad