Let the world be born again,
too many eyes beset it.
Landscapes - on endless fogs a light wavers in questions. A suspended time pours its drops of light. Airy regrets of blues and mauves veil the open space The Greco gray, rustling, is never far. The borders are vanishing. Let the sky flow, the sea in itself. Backs - despite scarification of the backgrounds, the offering is all the more naked. A body creates the space. And the rose, in its dolence, is equilibrium. And always, lights and colors stretched to our eyes like a bowl of hot milk. A fragrance of light. Thought then leads one life and the eye, another.
From the first contacts with Baghir's work, a conviction as powerful as it is sweet reaches us. A shock that does not result from any noisy process. Something intimate to our senses: water for our roots to gorge them with all innocence.
For those who already know his previous works, it will be easy to discern the links that ensure the continuity between the poetic work of Digital Perturbances and the pictorial work of Photographic Passports. The retina of Baghir composes in persistent, elegant, tenuous grace notes. We see as through the folds of an eyelid that would become canvas. The air is dyed with azures and moisture. Nothing stains the light. The air is a bath of colors. Chromatic tenderness. Silence waiting to be broken. Patience of the photographer waiting the moment, spared the painter’s repentance. Just encircled scars.
Passports, finally, so that an eyelid cannot be closed except in an epiphany. Make a clean place, without delay, for the sole sake of this quivering source and chance that flees us. In carnal mornings, the models of the photographer are the officiants, without their knowledge, of this grace. Baghir has never finished soliciting the visual experience. His virtuoso foreshadows what we persist in waiting for, what we would like to learn to receive. In this world that has become difficult to inhabit, Baghir's photographic work patiently lingers at the window like Vermeer's Geographer: "Let the world be born again, too many eyes beset it."
Martine Jobbé Duval
The vision continues to take shape with a new series, as a flux of serial disruptions and expressions of pictorial beauty that serve as a tribute to painting and photography that explores the terra incognita of a dreamlike photographic world. 35mm film on enlarged prints. The original intention must remain pure to maintain the process of this evolutionary creation. Moving from 0 to 1 (Visions I, II, III and IV, 2013-2016), the series passes from 1 to 2 (Variations 2.18, 2017-2018) and soon beyond (Expressions 40, 2019-2021), with more to come in the near future. Up to 9. No further. Leaving the solitary trees of the plain behind to penetrate the forest, Variations 2.18 simultaneously arrive to break the cycle of strict black and white. The approach is binary, digital. Primary too. Pure like the silence of children playing. Open your eyes to a colored light, then close them long and hard, and look for supernatural colors with new forms projected on the retinal screen. Disrupted forecasts.
Healthy too. Do not be afraid of the forest anymore. Leave the city rat's robes behind to gain the nobler vestments of the field mouse. If only even for a few hours. The singular line of the horizon is broken by the vertical crossing of trees and their horizontal heights, the utopian inspiration for the City 2.0. Is the big bet to keep closing our eyes and refuse the idea that error is urban? I will continue to close my eyes to better see this augmented reality in the search of daydreams. Nightmares stink. This story is written in silence and is read over time.
These images are digital only in name. In fact, Baghir shoots using traditional B&W film and prints with a photographic enlarger on silver gelatin paper. The photographer visualizes his subjects in advance, using his camera and self-designed filters to record the envisioned image as a photograph that is then enlarged without being retouched. An homage to painting as well as black-and-white photography, his works are a study of pictorial beauty, with a subdued, painterly quality that exists in a tangible space outside of direct photographic representation and the fantastic elements of painting. This series was realized over the course of four years in which Baghir took over 15,000 photographs. Each photograph is titled numerically as a means of preserving the imaginative breadth of the image.
France , 1974
Nicolas Baghir Maslowski was born in France in 1974. Baghir, the photographer’s artist name, was the first name of his grandfather, who died in his native Russia during the Bolshevik revolution in 1917. His father, in exile, emigrated to France as a child and eventually became a writer, giving a small camera to his own son Nicholas Baghir when he was 8 years old. As an introverted child captivated by images, Baghir took his camera everywhere, photographing everything that came into sight to create a personal photographic universe.
His secondary passion was music. In the early 2000s he spent time in Jamaica, meeting several musicians who were more or less forgotten and created the label imprint Makasound/Inna de Yard with a friend. They produced and reedited a number of buried masterpieces, eventually popularizing the Jamaican artist Winston McAnuff in France. Many of visuals for the label’s albums were photographed and composed by Baghir. The label took off and eventually became a division of a major company, but in 2013 Baghir took a chance and made the decision to leave his successful career in the music business, return to photography, and fully pursue his artistic vision.
The artist realized his vision with his current series Digital perturbations after four years of research and 15,000 photos. His images, quite contemporary, refer to the pictorialist movement in their painterly quality. He works with film and prints on silver gelatin paper, using the traditional process. Named only by number, the blurred photographs retain a sense of mystery in the eyes of the spectator, who often travels far in space and time to a place where freedom from the need for interpretation leads back to the image’s irreducible beauty. The images are above all a study of pictorial beauty, an homage to painting and black & white and color photography that explore the terra incognita of the photographer’s oneiric world.
Passeports photographiques, Galerie XII Paris
Variations 2.18, Galerie XII Paris
Artist in residence, Institut Français de Berlin, Germany
Visions III, Alliance française, Los Angeles
Art ELysées, Paris
Photo Shanghai, Shanghai
Visions III, Artist's Corner, Los Angeles
Les rencontres d'Arles, Galerie Huit, Arles
Art Paris Art Fair, Paris
PhotoLA, Los Angeles
The REEF, Los Angeles
Visions, Photo12 Galerie, Paris
Swiss Art Space, Lausanne
Fat Galerie / Sitor Senghor, Paris
Exhibitions and Fairs