“Prises de Tête”, the series of portraits by Serge Picard, lives up to its name. Firstly because these are portraits in the strictest sense of the word, there are no anecdotes or unnecessary accessories: the poses are simple and the decor is minimalist. Secondly, because Serge Picard’s choice is to show a selection of commissioned portraits made in the fields of music, art, cinema, show business or literature. These portraits are indeed very important, when we know that the shooting only lasts between five and fifteen minutes depending on the case, that the location is unknown to the photographer before the shooting and that it is absolutely necessary to bring back a publishable image for the client. But also that the image produced corresponds to the photographer’s handwriting.
But the real work begins in front of the person to be photographed. It is a real battle, friendly certainly, but intense, where the negotiation is done through the interplay of bodies, postures, glances, where the stake is to find the nerve centre of what each of the two participants – the photographed and the photographer – is willing to deliver, willing to give up… willing to offer.
To look at, Serge Picard’s portraits are calm and posed in this strange form of timelessness that makes them mysterious, enigmatic. But make no mistake, this is the calm after the storm, where each person has emerged different with a slight visible tension showing us that we do not leave a photographic encounter as we came.