Under the skirts of Paris
Maxime Hibon is a "self-educated photographer" lover of his city: Paris. He photographed it at the place, upside down, in small bits, when she reflected herself in a puddle like a motionless narcissus. A few days away from the fashion week, where visitors will surge around the world without even looking up at the beauties of the city, it reveals its Paris indiscreet. – Isabelle Cerboneschi. Photos: Maxime Hibon.
Prior to photography, Maxime Hibon worked only in advertising. He rubbed his words and formulas to those of Jacques Séguéla. There are worse mentors. With his team, at Havas, he conducted global campaigns of communication, but already images interested him almost more than words.
He snapped his "eye" by rubbing shoulders, observing others – Patrick Demarchelier, Patrick Tourneboeuf or Gueorgui Pinkhassov of the agency Magnum, with whom he followed workshops. He learned by doing, especially. Working on his lights, his effects, his portraits. One thing after another. "I used to do some photography when I was young but I had forgotten. Strangely enough, Kanye West is the one who gave me the taste for photography. He was my client for a few years and as any respected tourist he would ask me to photograph him in front of the Tour Eiffel, in front of the Arc de Triomphe, or during our times spent at various fashion weeks. He gave me advice on the light and I learned like a madman. »
Maxime Hibon bought himself a "Leica" to force me to learn both technique and respect. Respect for those who have changed our gaze on the world through this malleable art of photography. I worked on blur, speed, light...» And for the past 7 years, he has not come out one day without his camera, companion of his diurnal and nocturnal wanderings.
The “self-educated photographer”, as he likes to call himself, fell in love with his city when he knew how to look at her. He watches it from every angle, like a man in love, especially from underneath. He looks at her indirectly: he takes what she wants to reflect from herself in the puddles of water, in the mirrors, in all the surfaces that reflect her image. His work in the sometimes murky waters of Paris reveals another city, as if we discovered new forms, new faces and other horizons.
"These are different viewpoints that reveal themselves," he said. Many people, after seeing my photos, say to me: "I will never look at puddles again like before". And then they forget... But if I managed to make sure that they look Paris otherwise, it's already a lot. I am convinced that a picture can make a difference. »
"Gueorgui Pinkhassov from the Magnum agency taught me something very important. He told me: "Henry Cartier-Bresson was waiting for the right moment, the right light, the right person, the right situation to go through his goal." So Maxime Hibon did the learning of patience, he learned to wait for the right light, the right angle of the leg of the passerby that is reflected in a puddle at the Jardin des Tuileries. He went on to capture with his device what the city, life, would give him well.
His first exhibition, he had made it to Nyon. The second, at Paris, at the Hôtel Lutetia. For almost six years Maxime Hibon has been showing his work in fairs, museums and galleries in Europe and the United States – the AAF DE Bruxelles or the Museum of contemporary Art in Dallas – alongside some of the greatest Contemporary art artists.
He has just participated in the realization of a book for the Gendarmerie Nationale. He had been asked to bring an outside look at the institution. That's what he did. 26 ' 000 copies of the book have so been been published. An adventure that will be pursued alongside them. No doubt his gaze sends them another image, another reflection of themselves and their function.
A photograph is never reality. It's a moment, a portion of time, a situation snippet, reduced to a given width and height. An image of Maxime Hibon is both more, and less than reality: it reflects it while obliging the one who looks to restore part of the real. Or not at all. An invitation to let themselves be carried by what we see. Because it feels good in this universe that one does not recognise. It feels good under the skirts of Paris...
Some of Maxime Hibon's photographs are currently on display in the Gab & Jo store at 28 rue Jacob in Paris
Drawings can also be obtained at The Two 6 Gallery, 66 Avenue de la Bourdonnais, and the Stubbs Gallery in Dallas: https://www.stubbsgallery.com
Instagram account: loeildeparis