Julien Guinand

Updated — 16/11/2021

Born in 1975

Lives and works in Lyon


“I find no interest in accumulating shots and I don’t believe I have any particular fascination for images in general… My method is subtractive. Sometimes, and much to my despair, I only keep two or three photographs a year.” Julien Guinand in his monograph, Éditions Deux cent cinq.

Subtraction is also at the heart of each of his pictures – a “minus 1” that opens a discreet breach, tears it up completely, or cracks open the unbearable fascination… Slender greyhounds photographed in profile on the racetrack display both proud and comical attitudes; large white tablecloths hanging on a clothesline in a yard would make for perfect minimalist artwork if it were not for the puffed up plastic bag at the foot of a bush in the background… There is always a prosaic catch, a “punctum”, an accident, which keeps the image from closing in on itself in narcissistic admiration of its own shimmering beauty…

There is always something quite moving about Julien Guinand’s work, in that it reaches a form of Zen perfection (a philosophy which greatly influences the photographer), while also suddenly and inadvertently letting “reality” make joking or anecdotal incursions. These could consist in a yellow rag at the bottom of a picture, or a sad young woman next to a manhole… The accident can also be literally evoked in a photograph of crash-test wall. Concentration falters, meditation fails, and this is precisely what makes these photographs poignant, human, and intriguing.” (…)

Excerpt from “Dans le presque, le parfait”, Jean-Emmanuel Denave, Le Petit Bulletin, 2012