Romain Berger is a 33-year-old French photographic artist who has been taking photos since 2013 and is now taking the art world by storm. 

As Berger tells Star Observer there are “very few known Queer photographic artists in France and in the world… We have Pierre and Gilles, but they are the only ones. It was important for me to affirm who I am in my work to give visibility to our community. I thought a lot at the beginning of my career about whether I wanted to make only queer work, I was afraid of being pigeonholed. I was afraid to put myself in a box. I quickly realised that I shouldn’t be afraid, I should show myself and say, ‘I am here and I exist.’

 

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“Outside the queer universe, my aim was also to break the codes. In my creations, it is no longer the woman who is the object but the man. A small revolution.”

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With this mentioning of a revolution, I was keen to ask Berger if he believes in the power of art to change the world

“I believe very strongly in the power of art. You only have to look at the singer Lil Nas X, whether you like him or not, he’s getting people talking about him. But not only that, he gives visibility to the queer community.” Berger replies. “Art has always been a vehicle for creating openness: Andy Warhol, Mapplethorpe, James Bidgood, Da Vinci etc… Art is a weapon to say things, to create polemics and sometimes to make people think about our world.”

 

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The characters in Berger’s work are often marginalised, excluded or singled out but for the time of a shot, become heroes/fighters, in settings built alone and entirely in studio.

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Explaining his approach to the subjects in his work, Berger tells us it begins with “the idea of the theme… I then cast the model who will be perfect for my story. So I don’t use the model’s personality to set the scene, but I use the theme to elevate the model. It’s the model who makes the final picture great. If I’ve done a good casting, it will help the story to be told.

 

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“In the end, I tell stories that speak to the whole of society. My characters are queer but they are above all marginalised human beings. We’ve all been marginalised at some point in our lives so everyone can relate to the final work. I regularly get feedback from heterosexual people, which makes me happy.”

Check out Polly Dolly’s work at www.romainberger-photography.com

 

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