From the beginning of his career, black and white photography was an ever-present element in the development of Folon’s work and was an integral part of his creative process. The artist captured for posterity signs of his obsessions and materials he could use in his works. He took hundreds of snapshots of arrows, roads and high-rise buildings. The photographs also demonstrate his ability to anthropomorphise the objects around him through a psychological phenomenon known as “pareidolia”. So an electrical socket becomes a mask, a façade becomes a face.
Furthermore, as a keen traveller, he experienced the disturbing beauty of traditional and ancient civilisations such as Mexico, Greece and Egypt, and these, in different ways, provided inspiration for his work. He also photographed his friends, in snapshots that capture wonderful moments of closeness and intimacy.
From the 1980s onwards, Folon gradually abandoned black and white photography in favour of colour, which does not have the same artistic intensity.
For more information see:
J.M. Folon, Photos graphiques, foreword by Ph. Garnier, Les Cahiers dessinés, Paris, 2017.