Henry Roy

28 June –14 August 2014

With „Elements“, Henry Roy shows some of his works, which have emerged in the past ten years in several areas of the world, while travelling and also in his everyday life. Some of them are snapshots, others are set up, but they are all related by the same spirit. Se- arching for a poetic „frequency“, reflections of his life have evolved - a sort of dream awake - which he considers more like visions than photographs.This shows that Henry Roy really feels at home in places or situations that bring out emotions and in which he recognizes himself. The course of his life, with its many variations and sudden changes, became his main theme. Gradually, he swept aside all no- tions of style and linearity, retaining a single discipline: freedom.With his soft, almost literary aesthetic, Roy captures the most beautiful and extraordinary moments from everyday life. Introspective observations, warm and unobtrusive portraits, together with explorations of his identity, are part of his collection of personal works.

Henry Roy works in a very intuitive, almost mediumistic way, always trying to search and capture things beyond those represented. He likes his images to be mysterious, with a frame that reveals only fragments of a larger subject. Myth and reality play equal parts, making reality seem like a fiction and vice versa. He is not concerned about style, nor about technique, nor about concepts. Henry Roy captures what resonates; this is what makes some of his works enigmatic. They are as sublime as they are uninterpretable, as the viewer doesn‘t consciously knows what they are about. Something strange and sensual, both deadly and extraordinarily alive: a paradox that exists in a number of Roy‘s images. 

With the eye of a portraitist, Roy isolates his subjects and obscures their circumstances, expressing a poetic tension between reverie and the mundane. He treats many of his subjects as portraits as a result of his tendency to focus on only one person, object or action in or- der to capture the best of its energy, or specific beauty.What he looks for is a psychological revelation. 

His photographs are as subtle and intangible as a breath of air; an energy circulating between beings and things. The context often remains vague, close to abstraction. This manifests itself at the boundaries of the visible, in a dimension where only imagination can penetrate, whereby the observer is drawn from reality into this slightly fantastical world, and is at times almost destabilized. Born 1963 in Port-au-Prince (Haiti), the French photographer, film-maker and writer Henry Roy emigrated at the age of three, with

his parents, as a refugee to France, where he eventually attended the lycée Henry IV (a high school for the French elite), in whose social climate his relationship with the world entirely changed.To the question of which of the two cultures he now feels he belongs to, Henry Roy says that it was difficult for him to define, deep inside, which part of him was Haitian and which was French. „I’m a bridge between those two cultures, someone with a hybrid, open identity.“ Henry Roy studied photography with Henri Coste, after which he worked as a photojournalist and began, in 1998, to show his work in Purple. He has published several books, including „Out of the Blue“ (2008), „Spirit“ (2009), „New Territories“ and “Mirage” (2014). He contributed to international magazines such as Harper’s bazaar UK, Apartamento, Kilimanjaro, Purple, Purple Journal,W orVogue Paris (to name just a few). In 2012, he won the Trophée du Club des Directeurs Artistiques for the best photography portfolio. Henry Roy lives and works in Paris. 


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