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Welcome Back to Mars

Welcome to Mars


Welcome to Mars

This was shot in the summer of 2005, on Mars, the only Mars I know on Earth, in Pennsylvania. I was engaged then in a rabid outcry against the War in Iraq, had documented many protests against it, key moments of American politics, and symbolic aspects of American weirdness in the previous 12 years.

All this work became unified under the title
Life on Mars, because of this photograph showing a surreal scene all too American with its apparent detachment from the reality experienced in Europe. This scene also symbolized the kitsch gentleness which seems to be part of the American DNA, but also hides an odd personality disorder. That disorder often manifests itself in war mongering and a sense of entitlement that we Europeans don't see in us, even if Americans on the whole, resemble us, mostly. This series therefore look at Americans as if they were extra terrestrials, a sort of Invaders if you will (you know, the TV series). Of course if extra terrestrials, Americans must be from Mars, since it is one of the biggest planets, is green like the Dollar, and is the God of War.

My Good Fellow Americans,

I have to write that I am proud to be one of you, even if from recent history. I could not have written that when that photograph was shot, in 2005, and it quickly became the icon of my series
Life on Mars, a documentary work on the craziness of the Bush era, American politics, and caricatural aspects of American culture, seen from an unforgiving European perspective.

Today this photograph should be re-baptised with a more suiting title:
Welcome Back to Mars. Mars, the God of war. Because whether we have declared it or not, we are obviously at war, and with Russia of all countries. But this time we are on the good side, and boy, what a good side that is! Even Hitler could not unite the good part of the world against him as fast as Putin did. Or probably, we just have grown since.

I grew up during the cold war, in France, not all that far from the demarcation line, even if the only connection we had with the other side then, was the Mistral, that cold wind that sweeps the Rhône Valley at times, and comes all the way from the Oural Mountains, the very eastern edge of Europe. Later, the same ways brought us the Chernobyl radioactive cloud. This should have taught us to be more guarded against Russia, if we could.

During all my youth, and until these past weeks, as maybe many of you, I never felt threatened by Russia, I even started my photographic journey and subsequent career, on a Russian cruise liner in 1972 ... Russians could be charming, or annoying at times, but difficult to take seriously. Hence the general wonder whether NATO served any purpose. Nobody wonders about that anymore, more than covid, Putin's madness has re-shaped the world, and under glorious American leadership.

President Biden said during the recent State of the Union, that
never had he envisioned a brighter future for this Country. "Folks," if I may, I believe that is true. Before long Putin will be dead or jailed, and it then will only be a matter of time, before the West extends all the way to Vladivostok. What a different world then, so much more peaceful, even if not totally, under American hegemony like never before.

So while these days are trying, they do carry a lot of brightness, we can be sure of that. May that feeling help us help Ukraine and Europe in all the possible ways,


Happy New Year 2022

Current Days Modern Art


These current days make Modern Art look Contemporary, and not vice versa, if I may, and if you follow me.

Although if you follow me, let's make these 2022 days swing as nicely as they should.

A big thank you to all the fine scientists in the world that have allowed us to ease our lives out of this quandary, and thank you for all that you have allowed us to do together in 2021, welcome to these really modern times.

If you believe in science though, it is going to be fine.

Happy New Year!


Ces derniers temps rendent l'Art Moderne quelque peu Contemporain, mais pas l'inverse, si je puis me permettre, et si vous me suivez.

Encore que si vous me suivez, nous allons faire danser 2022 à la façon de Michel Legrand, ou Francis Lai.

Mille merci à tous les scientifiques de la planète, qui nous ont aidés à nous extraire de ce pastis, et merci à vous tous pour ce que vous avez permis que nous fassions ensemble en 2021. Bienvenue dans ces temps résolument modernes.

Si vous croyez en la science, ça va aller plutôt bien, c'est certain.

Bonne Année, et Meilleurs Souhaits!


Current Days Modern Art

Truth be told, this is a pre-pandemic photograph, shot in Paris in October 2019. But until now, it was just an amusing photograph with caricatural characters, and in which the art in the storefront, mimicked, itself in a caricatural fashion, the Cyranoesque, nose of the man. Two plus years later, the whole scene becomes metaphoric for our current situation, in a style reverberating of its absurdity. It is grotesque, a bit like that art in the gallery, we should not be still looking for our way out, or at least that is how most of us feel, yet we don't know quite where we are in this great pandemic puzzle, nor what the right itinerary will be.

But if you believe in science, there are reasons to be optimistic, the solutions are already here. I was given the opportunity to do a wine tour in Bordeaux this last September, and it was terrific, the participants of that tour can't wait to do another one. The next Provence Wine Tour, May 14-28, 2022 is in the final stage of preparation, and there are 3 more tours planned for 2022 to different destinations. If you believe in science, there is a way out.
Here is where you can see 2022 Wine Tours.


Merry Christmas 2021

Aÿ's Vineyard

ChampagneInBdx_2021_1400px_CAÿ Champagne in Bordeaux during September 2021 Wine Tour

Click to enlarge to see the thin bubbles of this fantastic 1er Cru.


This beautiful vineyard just outside of Aÿ in the heart of Champagne, exemplifies the beauty of that region and its wines. Let's rejoice today, with the sparks and bubbles of the delicious Champagnes from Aÿ.

Merry Christmas!

p.s. Contrast Wines imports the superb Gosset-Brabant Champagnes from Aÿ. Gosset-Brabant is in direct lineage with Pierre Gosset, who five centuries ago, started the production of wine in Champagne. Their exquisite champagnes (Tradition 1er Cru, Low Dosage Grand Cru, Zero Dosage Grand Cru) are available notably at
Asheville Wine Market, Seaboard Wine, Bond Street Wines,The Winefeed, Savi's Wine, Parizade, Chef and Farmer, Zambra Tapas Asheville, and in all 50 States through our U.S. sales retailer. Contact me if interested.


Ce ravissant vignoble presque dans Aÿ, est le parfait exemple de la beauté de la Champagne et de ses vins. Réjouissons nous aujourd'hui, avec ses bulles, ses arômes, sa légèreté, propre à nous emmener en apesanteur allégée.

Joyeux Noël!


Happy New Year / Meilleurs Voeux 2021

Destination et Destinée


Let's see how far we can go from where we are, toward were we were once upon a time, when we were about to go further. I think we can do it, I am optimistic.

Happy New Year, all my very best wishes for the road.


Voyons jusqu'où nous pouvons aller, d'où nous sommes, et en direction d'où nous étions, il y a quelques temps, lorsque nous nous apprêtions à aller de l'avant. Je suis optimiste, je crois que nous pouvons le faire.

Meilleurs Voeux, avec mes meilleurs souhaits pour vous et votre chemin.


Destination and Destiny

I have a soft spot for this photograph, which it is not as mundane as it seems at first glance. Everything in this photograph is where it should be, which does not happen everyday. In essence it is like a Hollywood scene, and actually it reminds me of the opening scene of Jacques Demi’s cult movie “Les Demoiselles de Rochefort,” the best musical comedy ever, starring Catherine Deneuve, Françoise Dorléac (her sister who brought her to cinema, and died a few months after finishing this film. This is the only film in which they both star), Gene Kelly, George Shakiris and many others whose names you may not know, but are legends of French cinema. I cry just thinking of all of them.

Here, like in a movie scene, all the extras are doing their part: the guy getting of the boat, the cyclists on both sides of the water, the car on the bridge, all in support of the star: the canal. It is unclear where that canal goes, seemingly endlessly, tempting a departure for an unknown destination, quite suiting these days when we don’t know where we are going. In parallel, it is difficult to locate even where we are, except that people are moving in all kind of directions in that place. It is a hub lost in the middle of unknown, in borderline improbable territories. All this conspire to the surreal nature of this photograph with a subliminal parallel to our current situation.


Happy New Year / Meilleurs Voeux 2017

Au Large.


Let's see how far we can go.

All my very best wishes.


Voyons jusqu'où nous irons sur l'embarcation du moment.

Avec mes meilleurs souhaits pour vous sur la votre.


Trump in Selma

TheSilentMajority_2_1400px_CFascination for the Absurd.


I had to go see Donald Trump, and it was quite an eerie experience. This was in Selma N.C., about 57 miles from Durham, but in an alternate universe. I thought I'd be safe with my disguisement, but there is no mask for someone like me in such an environment. There is a video on the Facebook page of the Church of Photography (click on "videos" on the left) of this adventure by my companion film maker Stewart Nelsen in this adventure. The photographs here need no commentary.


Il a bien fallu que je fasse mon devoir professionel, et que j'aille rendre visite à Donald Trump. Le calendrier a voulu que cela soit à Selma, Caroline du Nord, à environ 95 Kms de Durham, mais dans un univers alternatif. J'espérais que mon déguisement avec T-Shirt nationaliste et casquette du tour de France me rendrait sufficient ridicule pour passer inaperçu, vain effort. La leçon est qu'il n'est pas de masque pour mon genre d'acabit dans un tel monde. Ma carrière d'agent secret est remis en cause. Mon compagnon dans cette mission, Stewart Nelsen, Réalisateur, a produit une vidéo accessible sur la page Facebook de l'Eglise de la Photographie (clicker sur "videos" dans le menu à gauche). Les photographies ici n'ont sans doutes besoin d'aucun commentaire.

IsisInfiltrator_1200px_CIsis Infiltrator

Chuck Cromagnon

LockHerUp_1400px_CThe People Want Games and Bread

Funny Investor

Cheerleaders_1400px_CThe Trump Cheerleading Section

TheMussoliniMoment_1400px_CThis Mussolinian Moment