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Aunt Juliette


In the village where he spent his childhood, there lived a woman of real character: Denis Dailleux’s great-aunt. A real bond sprang up between the photographer and his model, between the old woman and the young man, leading to a serious, comical game, a game which sometimes looks more like a challenge or a battle. Each image gives off a bountiful intensity which Denis Dailleux obtains, without artifice, by combining a true emotion with a setting sustained by a very sure sense of composition.
But these images are as much the photographer’s creation as that of his model. Denis Dailleux’s great-aunt was a phenomenon and you can hardly help wondering which of the two of them dreamt up these crazy, hilarious settings in which she joins with obvious malice twinkling in her eyes. The features may be those of an old woman, but it is the mischievousness of a young girl varying her poses and feelings: from a gaze lost in vagueness to the crabby look of a tetchy peasant woman. But in spite of these compositions, looking beyond the game, it is the truth of this woman which makes itself felt, the authenticity of a fierce presence which transfigures each portrait and stops us in our tracks when we see it, as we try in vain to grasp its mystery.
Denis Dailleux has that rare ability to stay in the background when he is facing his subjects, but let us not be fooled, there is definitely someone behind the lens.


The exhibition consists of 25 black and white prints framed, format: 55 x 55 cm.

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