Chez Demarchelier, It’s Like Father, Like Son
You might expect that Victor Demarchelier—son of Patrick—was born with a camera in his hand. But Demarchelier fils, whose debut photo show, Creating Images, is now up at New York’s Clic Gallery, insists the urge to shoot came later—after a bout with economics, to be precise. Having spent his collegiate years studying finance and studio art (primarily printmaking) at Vassar, Demarchelier only began taking photos after he returned to his native city post-graduation. He’s since lensed for the likes of Paris Vogue and Interview.
“I like to look at paintings mainly, like those of Francis Bacon. Or Mapplethorpe, Newton, and Penn,” says Demarchelier, who assisted his father in the studio before breaking out on his own. An affection for fashion’s old masters is readily apparent in Demarchelier’s work, which is predominantly in black-and-white and printed on silver gelatin or platinum prints for an aged quality. “I like when they’re rough,” Demarchelier says of his images, which he retouches only minimally. “I don’t always spot them; that way they’re more like a piece of art. The accidents can be beautiful, too.” Of course, beautiful subjects don’t hurt, either. There are plenty in the Clic show, including several of his girlfriend Caroline Trentini.
And as for that famous father? He’s now a studio mate. The two work side by side in the elder’s Chelsea space. “We like to talk to each other while the other one is shooting. Sometimes we definitely get on each other’s nerves,” Demarchelier laughs. But, despite any studio tiffs, Demarchelier doesn’t feel much added pressure as a result of his last name. “It helps and it hurts at the same time,” he says. “But it’s nothing to be ashamed of. And not just because he’s my dad, but because he’s one of my favorite photographers.”
“Creating Images” runs through April 4 at Clic Gallery, 424 Broome St., NYC, (212) 219-8006, www.clicgallery.com.