PRIVATE VIEW | 5 April, 6.30 - 9 pm
Fiumano Projects is delighted to present URBAN PRETEXTS, Michel Ajerstejn’s second UK solo Exhibition. Pieces from two distinct bodies of work will here be brought together in a cohesive and sometimes challenging dialogue.
Michel studied at the internationally renowned “Esmod” school of Art, Fashion and Design in Paris. Upon graduation he embarked upon a successful career as a fashion and graphic designer. Through a chance encounter with the much celebrated photographer, the late Willy Ronis (1910 – 2009), Michel’s passion for the media of photography was awakened. Ronis’ passion for the capturing of contemporary Parisian street scenes encouraged Michel to see the world around him in a new light. Over the past 20 years Michel has developed a complex technique including photography, silkscreen printing and painting. In 2014 Michel was awarded the much coveted ‘Prix de Photography ADACP at the prestigious Salon d’Automne, Paris.
Contrary to the tendency of most photographers who seek the extraordinary within the ordinary, Michel captures what many would ignore: the familiar within the everyday. Positioning himself somewhere between a voyeur and a marksman, the artist carefully chooses and observes his subjects through the viewfinder of his camera, patiently waiting for them to engage in beautifully ordinary actions: a girl lifting a lock of hair from her eyes, a boy smiling while talking into his mobile phone.
In contrast to these “Street Operas”, Michel’s studio based pieces reference more directly to his background in the graphic design world. Combining pared down images with bold black and red text, often arranged within in a grid structure these pieces have a classical feel whilst at the same time carrying subtly powerful commentaries on contemporary society.
The beautiful woman with bright red lips and the word ADDICT scrawled across her eye – is she the addict or are we? Once more the notion of voyeurism is central to this particular body of work. Society itself has become ever more voyeuristic – with the public quite literally addicted to the consumption of celebrity gossip, reality TV and the goings on of other peoples lives.
Bringing together collective experiences within public spaces (the city) as well as individual imagination within private spaces (the studio), Michel’s photographs represent a very unique perspective on the familiar.
“I Like to shoot cities, streets, passersby and everyday objects, I just try to add a little humour… The staging of the everyday, just to make visible, catching unexpected moments to sublimate them with art”