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architectural art and engraving

Christophe Valsecchi (Contemporary)

Parisian Christophe Valsecchi began his photographic career taking candid, psychologically intuitive photographs of children that were widely published in French child and parenting magazines.

The unguarded emotions of a child at play sharpened his photographer's eye for the genuine moment. How then, he was able to fuse that sensibility with his next jobs as a documentarian of architectural construction separates his career from perhaps all others in this admittedly scientific branch of photography.

The "Grands Projets" of French president Francois Mitterand, that transformed Paris' monumental footprint with the reconstruction of the Louvre into a modern museum, gave Valsecchi longtime employment chronicling the museum's stonework.

Over the years, he photographed the painstaking results of newly replaced stone carvings on the great palace. His photos led to steady work with construction firms and the scaffolding companies that held the contracts to clothe all the great monuments and churches with cages of steel.

While shooting the close-up views of the masons' and sculptors' newly installed stone, he often pivoted around to photograph the city of his birth. From vantage points that no one had ever used before, and, after the scaffolds were dismantled, no one could use again, he held a God's eye view of Paris.

With foregrounds of magnificently detailed stonework never seen from the street, he could scan the city's panorama for a contextuality that appears to be a surreal landscape. Looming stone, gargoyles, rooftops and rose windows frame the City of Light in a freshly imagined approach to the most photographed city on earth.

These viewpoints offer some of the most haunting, expressive images ever captured of a city the world thinks it knows. Valsecchi discovered a way to see what countless generations have overlooked, the Paris that its iconic monuments have observed for centuries.

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Christopher Valsecchi
Avenue des Champs Elysees, Paris
Gelatin-Silver Print, 2004
18 x 12 inches

Louvre Paris
Louvre Pyramid, Paris
Gelatin-silver print, 2000
18 x 12 inches

Christophe Valsecchi
La France Imperiale at La Bleynie #1
Gelatin-silver print, Neg, 2000 Print, 2003
12 x 18 inches

Christophe Valsecchi
Musee du Louvre
Gelatin-silver print, Neg, 2001 Print, 2003
12 x 18 inches

Eglise St. Clotilde
Eglise St. Clotilde
Gelatin-silver print, Neg, 2000 Print, 2004
12 x 18 inches

chicago bridge by Darris Lee Harris
Tour St. Jacques
Gelatin-silver print, Neg, 2001 Print, 2003
18 x 12 inches

Christophe Valsecchi
Pavilion Richelieu
Gelatin-silver print, Neg, 1992 Print, 2004
18 x 12 inches


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