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Winner of the Picto Grand Prize for Fashion Photography at this 24th edition, photographer Christopher Barraja unveils with his intimate series “De Chlore et de Rosé” a bewitching ode to intertwined bodies. In the course of his various shots, the photographer invites the viewer to travel in search of an intoxicating iodized elsewhere. 

As soon as he obtained his baccalaureate, Christopher Barraja took off for the city of Marseille with the objective of studying architecture. Quickly realizing that this field did not resonate with him, the following year he entered the École nationale supérieure des arts décoratifs (EnsAD) in the 5th arrondissement of Paris. It was from there that his interest in photography was revealed, even taking him across the Atlantic: “During my exchange at the School of Visual Arts in New York, I had the opportunity to touch fashion photography, something I had never really done before.” 

Originally from the south of France, Barraja’s photography highlights details often invisible to the naked eye that only her being can contemplate, as “the liquid, the sea, its depth, its darkness” remain, unequivocally, an invaluable source of inspiration for the artist. One day, one of his relatives told him this sentence from the book The Sect of the Selfish by the writer Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt: “Only the details are beautiful in the universe, the whole is boring.” It was with these words that the invisible took on its full meaning for the photographer, giving him the opportunity to express himself freely in front of his lens: “Maybe the details are trying to tell us something, but we just don’t understand them.”

Christopher Barraja’s photographs are usually dictated by his unconditional love for his surroundings. His artistic whimsy leads him into a bewitching release constantly feeding his imagination. “You imagine their story, what they’re doing here, what they’re looking for, and in some cases, what they’re going to find,” he says. This burning passion for the intimacy of his subjects is anchored in his photographs with this ardent desire to “confront conventional elements in incongruous turns with a particular element.” Indeed, the tone of his shots, sometimes pure, sometimes mineral, plays with “relationships of scale” comical, as can be the representation of the kiss between two of his friends with the view – miniature – of a sailboat in the distance suggesting, according to the photographer, “a departure, desire, a moment too short and yet eternal.

The photographer’s project “De Chlore et de Rosé” will be presented at the 37th edition of the Hyères festival which will take place from October 13 to 16, 2022 at the Villa Noailles and will be published in book form. The artist is also working on a new personal sketch entitled La lumière d’un corps. “These two collections of images are important to me because they touch on themes that are intimately linked to my experience,” concludes the photographer.

Marine Mimouni