Bertrand
Desprez

Bertrand Desprez

biography


French photographer born in 1963, based in Paris (France)

Graduated of the Ecole Louis Lumière (Paris), Bertrand Desprez reconciles through photography two radically opposed aspirations that inhabit him: on the one hand, a desire for freedom and unfettered solitude, on the other, the need for an anchor, a reassuring shore. The photographic work he has been developing for more than 30 years thus questions, with subtlety and elegance, the relationship between man and his environment.

After his first personal works on the jazz scene in the 80’s, he acquired the recognition of the profession with his series “Pour quelques étoiles“, a long-term survey drawing, in black and white, a fragile and sensitive portrait of teenagers in France.

In 1998, in Japan, a shift occurred: with the discovery of a different culture, he switched to color and integrated the principle of serial declension of motifs, without giving up the documentary subtlety that characterizes his work.

Far from any cliché and attentive to a non-spectacular reality where “suddenly an ordinary object can become extraordinary and take us very far to the frontiers of the invisible“, it is through the prism of the landscape and the way in which the social body inscribes itself in it by its activity, mainly sport and leisure, that Bertrand Desprez testifies without presupposition nor exoticism of our contemporary societies – weather French or foreign (Japan, Mali, Brazil, Cuba, Indonesia, etc.).

In permanent collaboration with the press, he produces numerous reports on sports in France and abroad and questions what this individual or collective, amateur or professional “physical activity” reveals of intimacy and sociality. In parallel to his personal work and editorial commissions, he also puts this double documentary and aesthetic approach at the service of companies, mainly for the realization of portraits.

Author of four monographs, Bertrand Desprez is the winner of the CCF Foundation Prize for Photography (1997) and the Kodak Critics’ Prize (1999). Regularly published and exhibited, his photographs have been included in the collections of the CCF Foundation for Photography, the Fonds National d’Art Contemporain and the HSBC Collection, among others.

SERIES


The Mud Warrior of Mumbai, 2017

It is one of the oldest akharas (places where wrestling is practiced) in Mumbai, founded in 1930 at the time of Independence. Kushti is practiced in Southeast Asia and can still be observed in its traditional form in India, Pakistan or Dubai where some immigrant communities still practice it today.

The Republican Guard, 2006

The Republican Guard is a subdivision of the National Gendarmerie that carries out honorary and security missions for the highest authorities of the State as well as security missions for the benefit of the public.

Along the Way, 2006

As part of a residency initiated by the Théâtre de la Passerelle, Bertrand Desprez has explored the territory of the Hautes-Alpes by imposing codes of shapes and colors.

The Spirits of Pernambuco, 2004

It is on the fertile lands of Pernambuco that the "mill lords" settled during the colonization, which will make Brazil the first world producer of sugar, in the 18th century.

Homanimus, 2004

Bertrand Desprez's surprising shots question the relationship between man and animal, when the latter becomes a source of projection and reflection.

The Immobile Barge, 2003

With each tide, it is discovered, whatever the weather, winter and summer. It appears then disappears, populated by ghosts and stories.

Dancing at Cuba, 2002

Cuba, Havana, and its streets: the whole island lives to the rhythm of dance. Rumba, Flamenco, Salsa, paso-doble, and even classical dance are taught from the best institutions to the poorest dance schools.

Farmers, Father and Son, 2000

The Ministry of Culture commissioned many photographers during the Y2K changeover. This commission entitled "the most beautiful age" is a panorama of French youth at the beginning of the 21st century.

Being 20 in Jjogjakarta, 1999

The largest archipelago state in the world, and the fourth most populous state, the Republic of Indonesia is at the crossroads of cultures. Between a historical link with Hinduism, and the current influences of Islam, the country is religiously and ethically very diverse.

Aoba the Blue Leaf, 1999

Ephemeral tatami on park lawns in spring, summer umbrella for cereals in search of freshness, autumn screen, cozy winter coat for bare trees ...

The Four Seasons in Japan, 1998

It is a Japanese tale, a naturalist stroll around the emotions of adolescence. Four seasons to evoke the feelings, the questionings, the energy of the young Japanese.

OVNI (Organics Visions of a Imaginary Nature), 1997

The wound is visible, a red stain appears on his body. Trace of a fierce fight, agonizing mountain. Elsewhere in the middle of a wood, a tree uprooted by the wind. Lying facing the sky, and the ice screaming. In the middle of sleeping fjords, skin fragmented to infinity.

For a Few Stars…, 1992

From 1992 to 1995 I followed groups of teenagers from the Jules Ferry high school in Paris in their daily life. High school; friendship, groups, music, sports, family, parties. As close as possible to them, in immersion, I told this brief story of adolescence.

Greyhound, 1990

Greyhound Lines is a U.S.-based motorcoach company that transports passengers across North America. Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, the company now serves more than 3,700 destinations: nearly 2,200 destinations in the United States alone, more than 1,100 destinations in Canada and the rest in Mexico.

Jazz, 1989

My first photographic loves, a mixture of blue notes, silver grains and incredible encounters. I love jazz, improvisation, musical travel. For three years, I travelled all over France from festival to festival, following this great musical caravan, from a big top in Coutances for Jazz under the apple trees, to the arenas of Vienne under a stormy rain where I made this unforgettable image of Miles.

The Mud Warrior of Mumbai, 2017

It is one of the oldest akharas (places where wrestling is practiced) in Mumbai, founded in 1930 at the time of Independence. Kushti is practiced in Southeast Asia and can still be observed in its traditional form in India, Pakistan or Dubai where some immigrant communities still practice it today.

The Republican Guard, 2006

The Republican Guard is a subdivision of the National Gendarmerie that carries out honorary and security missions for the highest authorities of the State as well as security missions for the benefit of the public.

Along the Way, 2006

As part of a residency initiated by the Théâtre de la Passerelle, Bertrand Desprez has explored the territory of the Hautes-Alpes by imposing codes of shapes and colors.

The Spirits of Pernambuco, 2004

It is on the fertile lands of Pernambuco that the "mill lords" settled during the colonization, which will make Brazil the first world producer of sugar, in the 18th century.

Homanimus, 2004

Bertrand Desprez's surprising shots question the relationship between man and animal, when the latter becomes a source of projection and reflection.

The Immobile Barge, 2003

With each tide, it is discovered, whatever the weather, winter and summer. It appears then disappears, populated by ghosts and stories.

Dancing at Cuba, 2002

Cuba, Havana, and its streets: the whole island lives to the rhythm of dance. Rumba, Flamenco, Salsa, paso-doble, and even classical dance are taught from the best institutions to the poorest dance schools.

Farmers, Father and Son, 2000

The Ministry of Culture commissioned many photographers during the Y2K changeover. This commission entitled "the most beautiful age" is a panorama of French youth at the beginning of the 21st century.

Being 20 in Jjogjakarta, 1999

The largest archipelago state in the world, and the fourth most populous state, the Republic of Indonesia is at the crossroads of cultures. Between a historical link with Hinduism, and the current influences of Islam, the country is religiously and ethically very diverse.

Aoba the Blue Leaf, 1999

Ephemeral tatami on park lawns in spring, summer umbrella for cereals in search of freshness, autumn screen, cozy winter coat for bare trees ...

The Four Seasons in Japan, 1998

It is a Japanese tale, a naturalist stroll around the emotions of adolescence. Four seasons to evoke the feelings, the questionings, the energy of the young Japanese.

OVNI (Organics Visions of a Imaginary Nature), 1997

The wound is visible, a red stain appears on his body. Trace of a fierce fight, agonizing mountain. Elsewhere in the middle of a wood, a tree uprooted by the wind. Lying facing the sky, and the ice screaming. In the middle of sleeping fjords, skin fragmented to infinity.

For a Few Stars…, 1992

From 1992 to 1995 I followed groups of teenagers from the Jules Ferry high school in Paris in their daily life. High school; friendship, groups, music, sports, family, parties. As close as possible to them, in immersion, I told this brief story of adolescence.

Greyhound, 1990

Greyhound Lines is a U.S.-based motorcoach company that transports passengers across North America. Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, the company now serves more than 3,700 destinations: nearly 2,200 destinations in the United States alone, more than 1,100 destinations in Canada and the rest in Mexico.

Jazz, 1989

My first photographic loves, a mixture of blue notes, silver grains and incredible encounters. I love jazz, improvisation, musical travel. For three years, I travelled all over France from festival to festival, following this great musical caravan, from a big top in Coutances for Jazz under the apple trees, to the arenas of Vienne under a stormy rain where I made this unforgettable image of Miles.

The Mud Warrior of Mumbai, 2017

It is one of the oldest akharas (places where wrestling is practiced) in Mumbai, founded in 1930 at the time of Independence. Kushti is practiced in Southeast Asia and can still be observed in its traditional form in India, Pakistan or Dubai where some immigrant communities still practice it today.

The Republican Guard, 2006

The Republican Guard is a subdivision of the National Gendarmerie that carries out honorary and security missions for the highest authorities of the State as well as security missions for the benefit of the public.

Along the Way, 2006

As part of a residency initiated by the Théâtre de la Passerelle, Bertrand Desprez has explored the territory of the Hautes-Alpes by imposing codes of shapes and colors.

The Spirits of Pernambuco, 2004

It is on the fertile lands of Pernambuco that the "mill lords" settled during the colonization, which will make Brazil the first world producer of sugar, in the 18th century.

Homanimus, 2004

Bertrand Desprez's surprising shots question the relationship between man and animal, when the latter becomes a source of projection and reflection.

The Immobile Barge, 2003

With each tide, it is discovered, whatever the weather, winter and summer. It appears then disappears, populated by ghosts and stories.

Dancing at Cuba, 2002

Cuba, Havana, and its streets: the whole island lives to the rhythm of dance. Rumba, Flamenco, Salsa, paso-doble, and even classical dance are taught from the best institutions to the poorest dance schools.

Farmers, Father and Son, 2000

The Ministry of Culture commissioned many photographers during the Y2K changeover. This commission entitled "the most beautiful age" is a panorama of French youth at the beginning of the 21st century.

Being 20 in Jjogjakarta, 1999

The largest archipelago state in the world, and the fourth most populous state, the Republic of Indonesia is at the crossroads of cultures. Between a historical link with Hinduism, and the current influences of Islam, the country is religiously and ethically very diverse.

Aoba the Blue Leaf, 1999

Ephemeral tatami on park lawns in spring, summer umbrella for cereals in search of freshness, autumn screen, cozy winter coat for bare trees ...

The Four Seasons in Japan, 1998

It is a Japanese tale, a naturalist stroll around the emotions of adolescence. Four seasons to evoke the feelings, the questionings, the energy of the young Japanese.

OVNI (Organics Visions of a Imaginary Nature), 1997

The wound is visible, a red stain appears on his body. Trace of a fierce fight, agonizing mountain. Elsewhere in the middle of a wood, a tree uprooted by the wind. Lying facing the sky, and the ice screaming. In the middle of sleeping fjords, skin fragmented to infinity.

For a Few Stars…, 1992

From 1992 to 1995 I followed groups of teenagers from the Jules Ferry high school in Paris in their daily life. High school; friendship, groups, music, sports, family, parties. As close as possible to them, in immersion, I told this brief story of adolescence.

Greyhound, 1990

Greyhound Lines is a U.S.-based motorcoach company that transports passengers across North America. Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, the company now serves more than 3,700 destinations: nearly 2,200 destinations in the United States alone, more than 1,100 destinations in Canada and the rest in Mexico.

Jazz, 1989

My first photographic loves, a mixture of blue notes, silver grains and incredible encounters. I love jazz, improvisation, musical travel. For three years, I travelled all over France from festival to festival, following this great musical caravan, from a big top in Coutances for Jazz under the apple trees, to the arenas of Vienne under a stormy rain where I made this unforgettable image of Miles.

Interviews


Révélation #006
Photo Doc.

2018

Reveal is a collection of films on documentary photography. The #006 is about the photographer Bertrand Desprez who tells us about photographic wanderings, curiosity of the eye.

Exhibitions


Kruzenstern

Festival Photo du Guilvinec, Le Guilvinec (FRANCE)

From June 1 to September 30, 2021

Books


En plein dans la nuit

Thierry Magnier Editions - Collection Photo roman - 2011

En plein dans la nuit

Thierry Magnier Editions - Collection Photo roman - 2011

En plein dans la nuit

Thierry Magnier Editions - Collection Photo roman - 2011

Awards


Kodak Critics Award

For his series “For a Few Stars”

1999

CCF Foundation Award for Photography (HSBC)

For his series “For a Few Stars”

1997