Gérard Rancinan (FR)

18.2.1953 Talence, France


Born in the Bordeaux region, Gérard Rancinan travels the globe, bearing first hand witness to events of historical importance. Natural catastrophes, civil and ethnic wars, and urban riots… he comes face to face with the complexity of the human condition and the random events by which it is fashioned. His imperious need for self-expression leads him to focus on the world’s most important issues, he delivers startling images filtered through an ever-evolving aesthetic prism.

Constantly breaking down barriers, he is, by turn, an investigator deconstructing the great sagas of contemporary life, and a portraitist. His photographs of athletes, artists, ecclesiastics and politicians have become iconic. His images have earned him a number of prizes, including four prestigious World Press Awards.

Following his domain of predilection, in the “Trilogy of the Moderns” he becomes the wakeful observer of his contemporaries. This marginal perspective involves real mises en scène, veritable simulacra of the world in which we live.

Internationally renowned, Gérard Rancinan’s work is exhibited in the world’s most prestigious galleries and museums and features in the most important contemporary art collections. During a recent Etude Million auction at Drouot (2008), Gérard Rancinan became one of the highest ranked photographers in France. Gérard Rancinan is a Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres.

Gérard Rancinan’s work can be compared to no other. Labeled as fine-art photography, the artist’s profession is also his means of expression and commitment. Rancinan’s photographs are not merely conditioned reflexes. They are the very instruments of his thought-process, sensitive views of the world we live in and recognized forms of contemporary art. Rancinan breaks with the conventional world of photography in order to follow a road that, although not solitary, remains unique.

Although his photographs are always inspired by the reality of our world nowadays, they are so much more than the mere face-value representation of such a reality. Rancinan’s works are poetic propositions, fragments of an enlightened vision of our times. The artist likes to start with a more classic inspiration - from Velázquez to Géricault - combining it with the influence of his encounters with Robert Rauschenberg or Paul McCarthy; the result is the production of pre-meditated creations for which Rancinan alone holds the secret.

Entering this surprising universe amounts to accepting the risk of discovering something new, to look elsewhere while the world’s gaze continues in more orthodox directions. Every photograph of the artist’s creation is a punch to the gut, void of any stylish effect. Each of the artist’s exhibitions is an exploration of destabilisation, from which one never emerges unscathed, but always stronger.


2007 : Lead Academy Award - Stern Magazine
2006 : Chevalier des arts et des lettres
1989 : World Press Photo- 1st prize Sports stories
1989 : World Press Photo - 1st prize Arts stories
1989 : World Press Photo - 1st prize News stories
1987 : World Press Photo - 1st prize Sports stories
1986 : Grand Prix européen de la photographie de plateau
1984 : World Press Photo - 1st prize Sports stories