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Michel Comte
Empathic & Emblematic
Y.G., August 5, 2013
Michel Comte/Yves Saint Laurent, W Magazine 1992
Michel Comte/Yves Saint Laurent, W Magazine 1992
 
Michel Comte - The Classics

Michel Comte is among the most prolific photographers alive, he has worked in almost every genre of photography. The self- taught photographer has worked for almost every major international magazine and was shown in major museums and galleries all over the world. Whether it's reportage or fashion, he has always remained true to his inimitable signature style. Some of this photographs are truly memorable, unforgettable even, encapsulating the essence of his approach to photography- is classics in other words. It comes as no surprise that they mostly show women or celebrities, since these are the areas where Michel Comte has developed an unsurpassed mastery.

Michel Comte/Jeremy Irons, Interview, 1990
Michel Comte/Jeremy Irons, Interview, 1990
 
Taking pictures of celebrities is a tough job. After all, we have seen their faces so many times that we almost start to believe that we know them personally. But Michel Comte has a knack for finding images of celebrities that give you the feeling that you actually see them for the first time. Sometimes he condenses their allure in an almost mythical image - Miles Davis looking like an embalmed Pharaoh or Jeremy Irons like a coldly suave dandy with a monocle. Or he just relies on his ever attentive eye and captures a facial expression that seems to express the soul of the sitter - think of the rapture on Marianne Faithfull's face or the vulnerability and openness of Geraldine Chaplin.

Michel Comte/Elephant, GQ US, 1991
Michel Comte/Elephant, GQ US, 1991
 
The same balance of spontaneity and iconic presence characterizes his women. Michel Comte knows how to transform women into goddesses for the media age, timeless and contemporary at the same time.  He celebrates their strength and sexiness without ever turning them into objects. Michel Comte's classics point to the secret of his work: the sheer delight in human beings, their variety and individuality.  His openness allows him to produce images as unique as the individuals they show.

Michel Comte/Jean-Paul Gaultier, W Magazine, 1992
Michel Comte/Jean-Paul Gaultier, W Magazine, 1992
 
And isn't this what photography is all about?

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