In "hyper-photo" artist Jean-Francoise Rauzier's work, "On Time", which is included in his exhibition at the Waterhouse and Dodd Gallery in London later this month, there is image of a beach more dreamlike than real. It encompasses the essence of Rauzier's work: detail.
From a distance you can see a painting of a man, standing on an isolated beach dwarfed by sheer cliffs and a streaking sunset. But the closer you get to the image, you quickly realise that this is a beach far removed from reality. The costal scene is recognisable and the mechanical motion of the waves remain but what they are lolling on is not sand, but thousands of alarm clocks.
Rauzier’s images appear unreal and he is very clear about the influence of dreams and his imagination on his work. "During the long hours, days and nights I work on it I sometimes fall asleep in front of my computer," he explains. "I work mechanically on the picture and my mind eventually begins to travel into the image and the story elaborates itself. I have the time to dream and build a story. If it was a faster process, I surely would not imagine such details. Sometimes, I put in a detail, then change my mind and delete it and put another one in. Of course I am influenced by my dreams as a surrealist painter."
He has always been frustrated by photos which you can glance at – "zapping" as he calls it – so one of the intended effects on the viewer is to capitivate them. It certainly takes a while to absorb his creations and eventually your mind settles on the inevitable question: how does he do this?
He achieved such detail through is a mixture of artistry and technical wizardry. His images can consist of anything between 600 and 3,500 individual close up photos which, using Photoshop, he stitches together so precisely you can no longer see the join. The scale of his creations, which can maintain quality when expanded by 50 metres, demonstrates Rauzier’s ambition and the sheer power of these images. The result is a dreamy landscape with such stunning detail it is almost overwhelming. These images really have to be seen to be believed.
'Jean-Francoise Rauzier: Hyperphotos' at Waterhouse $ Dodd, 28 Cork St, London, W1, from 25 November - 18 December 2009, Monday-Friday 9:30am-6pm. www.modbritart.com