Above: La femme en bleu face à la porte du digital (The woman in blue facing the door to the digital) – 2015 – © Ludovic Baron
At 14, he already had to his credit more than fifteen comics. At 16, he made his first film, followed it with a few others, won some small awards, and got millions of views on YouTube for his short film “Help Me.” It was only then that Ludovic Baron got the idea of illustrating his world through a new medium: fine-art photography.
How did you start with photography?
You can say that I’m a self-taught, passionate jack-of-all-trades and that I started doing photography mainly because I didn’t have enough money to turn my ideas into film. In the end, I have an amazing time creating whatever is happening inside my head in this way, so I’m glad to have bumped into this problem!
In your photos we can find references to paintings by great artists of different times and styles (Géricault, Delacroix, Magritte, Caspar David Friedrich). Are you passionate about painting?
I would say that I’m passionate about images. And if an image transports me, tells me a story, sucks me into its world, it will then have every chance of touching and inspiring me. The paintings of Géricault, Delacroix, Caspar David Friedrich, and Magritte have really turned me upside down… That they inspire me to tell stories of my own, I think it’s fabulous. I like to bring modern art closer to classical art, perhaps to bring about that feel of the timelessness of art and to highlight cult references for the new generation.
Le voyageur face à la mer de nuage (The traveler facing the sea of clouds) – 2015 – © Ludovic Baron
You are based in France, but you regularly visit the United States for your projects. In some of your work, we find this very modern American influence, which is also more colorful. This is somewhat in contrast to the work you produce in France. Is it representative of the vision you have of these two countries?
It’s been four years since I discovered the United States and I can’t get enough. Every day spent there is a story, a meeting, a project that is born… I have only had great experiences. This is very positive and I like to show this in my work. It’s the “US touch!” As for my own country, France, I know the good sides and the bad. I am imbued with its qualities, but also with the more difficult experiences and situations that I have lived there, so I can tell darker things.
Le radeau de la richesse perdue (The raft of wealth lost) – 2014 – © Ludovic Baron
Tell us about your workflow: what takes you the most time? Shooting or compositing?
The preparation of a photo shoot may take from a few days to a few weeks. It depends on the casting, the crew, the idea, and the means available to implement it. But, no doubt, post-production is what takes the most time. I’m never fully satisfied, so even when it’s finished, it’s really not…
Do you do everything yourself?
I do everything myself, yes. Trips to the four corners of the world to unearth every detail of my compositions, the casting, also putting together the artistic team, doing the shoot in the studio, directing, and editing.
L’homme de l’ombre (The man in the shadows) – 2014 – © Ludovic Baron
Do you use stock images?
I used to do it quite often when I began, but over time I started to go through the trouble of taking all the pictures of the sets and the elements of the compositions myself. Today my works of fine-art photography are composed only of my own images. That said, sometimes I still use stock images to make the lives of some of my clients easier. They need visuals soon and could do without the travel expenses that are needed to get this or that element of the composition. So I find it very useful in this respect.
Tell us about your favorite image.
I would say it’s the work “Un ange s’évade” (“An angel escapes”), for what it represents. This is the first time I was able to help children fight off disease through my art. I made it specifically for a UNICEF charity auction. We were able to vaccinate more than two thousand babies just with the sale of this picture. The image represents an angel who escapes from prison to a better future.
Un ange s’évade (An angel escapes) – 2013 – © Ludovic Baron
The theme of the digital future calls out to you. What future do you see for images?
I’m still convinced that everything will quickly evolve, that what we have today will quickly become obsolete. The IT evolution is incredible and it’s a fascinating topic that is really worthy of our interest. If I had to imagine some changes in terms of design, I would go for embossed moving images that wouldn’t require you to wear 3D glasses. I would love to create with this kind of technology as soon as possible, as this would open the possibility of immersion in a work of art! Just imagine: what if it would only take a quick glance to get inside the product of your imagination, to find yourself in a kind of parallel world straight out of your mind…
Danse à l’Opera (Dance at the Opera) – 2014 – © Ludovic Baron
What are your plans?
I have many projects spread over the next year, so I’ll just tell you what’s happening right now! I just finished my work with Larry Flynt in collaboration with the fashion house “On Aura Tout Vu,” which dresses, among others, Madonna and Lady Gaga. After months of intense work, we organized the exhibition in Los Angeles where the work will be exclusively unveiled. Meanwhile, I’m working on a collection of pictures called “The woman in blue” and on January 26 I will shoot one of my new pictures in collaboration with high-fashion designer Michael Cinco (based in Dubai), who dresses the biggest stars on the planet! Exceptionally, I launched a contest on my Facebook page inviting a fan to help at the photo shoot. I will show you the outcome soon!
Finally, I have just started a major project for a humanitarian cause that is close to my heart. The concept will remain secret a for while longer, but my team and I are working hard to help this cause through art. We will be filmed every day for a year for a documentary that will let people follow the evolution of this project.
Discover the world of Ludovic Baron on his website http://www.ludovicbaron.fr/