Fabien Baron in 6 incredible photographs

You've seen his fashion campaign designs, but have you ever seen the art director’s beautiful landscape photos?
Share
An image from Fabien Baron's Monuments series, 2014. All images reproduced in Fabien Baron: Works 1983-2019
An image from Fabien Baron's Monuments series, 2014. All images reproduced in Fabien Baron: Works 1983-2019

Fabien Baron understands the divisions that arise in the creative industries. “I’ve always felt that because I’m a successful designer in the commercial world, being an artist is not authorized for me,” he says in his new book, Fabien Baron: Works 1983-2019. “Everyone has a sticker on them, and mine is Commercial Artist. So the work I’ve done is purely a form of me. I spent all my life doing both, but I’ve kept this side of myself very quiet.”

 

A photograph from Fabien Baron’s Nocturne series, 2012
A photograph from Fabien Baron’s Nocturne series, 2012

That quiet work generally takes the form of beautiful large-format land and seascape photography, which Baron has shot over the past four decades.

 

Two images form Fabien Baron’s Liquid Llight Series II as a diptych, 2017
Two images form Fabien Baron’s Liquid Llight Series II as a diptych, 2017

“For years, the minute I had free time I would take my 8x10 camera and just go look at the ocean in the Hamptons. I would take pictures by the shore,” he says in the new book. “I did my first one in 1982, the last one a couple of months ago. It became a therapeutic thing - a process that allowed me to go back to my origins. I took the sea as a subject matter, simply because it was very minimal, very simple - just drawing the energy from it.

While, in his professional career, he focussed on cool fashion campaigns and icy supermodels, in his private work, he also zeroed in on an equally chill subject matter.

“I started to go to Normandy, Corsica, and elsewhere - and eventually ended up going to the far north, where I saw icebergs for the first time,” he explains. “I knew at once that I would have to go back again and again to look at them. For my seascapes I was doing long exposures - from one minute to five or even ten minutes - so the water, the sky became one, melting colors into one another like a painting."

 

A photograph from Baron’s Land series, 2014
A photograph from Baron’s Land series, 2014

It isn’t a straightforward thing to fit a trip to the arctic in around magazine art direction and international ad campaigns, but Baron found one fashion brand – the Italian fashion house Moncler – wiling to sponsor a trip to Greenland, and he hopped on board.

 

A 2001 iceberg photograph by Fabien Baron from 2001
A 2001 iceberg photograph by Fabien Baron from 2001

“We embarked on an adventure for a week with tons of equipment and a big plan. Everything was planned and organized in advance,” he recalls. “Movie lights were out of the question as they were too big, so we opted for very powerful flashes that we had tweaked to get more power. And the whole shoot would have to be done from boats: one boat where I’m taking the picture, and the other boat for the lighting.

"We had to bring a huge generator aboard because of the powerful flashes. You could hear them pop like firecrackers when I was shooting, eight of them at the same time! We blew up a couple of packs, too. But I got the images I wanted. We captured the scale. I love when landscape becomes overwhelming.” 

 

Fabien Baron: Works 1983-2019

To see these photographs alongside many other, more public images created by Baron, order a copy of Fabien Baron: Works 1983-2019 here.


You May Also Like


Related



ABOUT PHAIDON

Phaidon is the premier global publisher of the creative arts with over 1,500 titles in print. We work with the world's most influential artists, chefs, writers and thinkers to produce innovative books on art, photography, design, architecture, fashion, food and travel, and illustrated books for children. Phaidon is headquartered in London and New York City.
Read more