Being a photographer, capturing sights and attempting to capture a moment of time, that is one hell of a difficult job. It’s a real privilege to watch someone on their journey towards that goal. I have to say that there are times when I find photography problematic – at times it seems intrusive, I can understand why people were afraid that you could steal someone’s soul with a simple click. Representation or perhaps more precisely misrepresentation is never so succinctly achieved as in the photograph. Photographs of myself often disappoint, I know I look nothing like that at all, you’ve caught me in the wrong light, in the wrong shape – that is not me at all – I am misunderstood. Looking at those old black and white photographs of Native Americans there’s so much going on there – the decimation of a culture; the attempt to preserve the memory of a people who were in the process of losing life as they knew it; the motivation and intention of those taking the photographs and those within the photographs. The taking of photographs is a complex thing – go to places where people still do not have ready access to images of themselves and they are happy and joyful to be part of it but then again if you pick up any of the celeb mags which now dominate the shelves (whatever happened to those articles you used to be able to read in magazines like Arena – where you could take a good month poring over the issue and musing on words and visions rather than men’s magazines competing for the biggest tit quotient) there are more than enough participants with ready if desperate smiles in the Western world eager for their slice of immortality (redux).
I have known Max for a couple of years and seen him take those steps towards becoming a photographer, improving with each shoot, searching for more, finding subjects, understanding what works and what doesn’t – moving from amateur to professional – putting on his first exhibition in Paris and now for the first time in London. It is great being in there from the beginning with artists still emerging into the critical light and merry go round of the art world – he is blessed with curiosity, he is experimental, he can handle rejection, he is not afraid to take risks and go it alone and he has that lack of embarrassment that comes with passion and that you need to be able to go up to people and say can I take your photograph. In a couple of months he is moving to Montreal from Paris to be a photographer full time – I am going to miss him terribly but I love having friends in my life who are willing to pursue their dreams, to be brave and perhaps with a certain ruthlessness seek to capture men’s souls. www.maxlamour.com/