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Book and exhibition project with
Book intro by Francesca Gavin
This is a record of subculture in slow motion. A southwest French echo of psychedelic 1970s California. Youths who grew up together and escaped the rest of the world, searching for waves on the coast near Biarritz. This is Basque country where the rocky Pyrenees begin. A coastline of secret coves and good waves. Of friendly but territorial crews, a little wild. Getting their kicks in the surf or skating downhill against oncoming tourist traffic. Weed and mushrooms. Not big town, not urban but proud and themselves. With their own sun-faded style – long hair, open shirts, laid back. This book is about inspiration. A call to let go. Find freedom. Live hard. About what happens when you have sunshine, boards and space to do whatever the fuck you want.
Text by Xander Smith
One can argue that youth is a frozen moment of respite in the life-long war against entropy. The second law of thermodynamics that determines that everything physical in this universe will eventually break down and perish. Including your face. Your house. And your luxury sedan. Youth is a broken window of oblivion, in which respect of this law completely ceases and time uncurls in slow motion. There is no past, no future, just the present. Elongated. A seemingly eternal feedback loop. Gnarly. Raw. Brutal. Beautiful.
And so, it can’t be any more appropriate that David Ledoux’s compelling photographic documentation of youth culture is exactly that: frozen moments of oblivion, wafting through the salty air like sweet herb. Captured in the Basque country in the southwest of France, his images pay testament to what it’s really like to live, surf and skate on the coast near Biarritz. No posers. Locals only.
French-born, David initially cut his teeth in Africa as photojournalist. This is where he came head-to-head with raw humanity and learned to disappear. The first step in grasping the art of portraiture. Meeting people and learning how to capture them in a state of invisibility, afforded him an eye that helped him transition into fashion photography, attracting the likes of iconoclastic publications like Dazed and Confused, Vice and Intersection Magazine.
Today he lives in the southwest of France, working as an independent photographer and visual artist, continuing to experiment with new forms of photography. Creating staggering images in a computer free environment through long exposure, David works with an argentic camera, stencils and coloured gelantines, capturing light movement illuminated by torches, neons and fire. Blending time and space to depict both instantaneity and a sense of duration.
He still tries to defy entropy daily, by surfing as much as he can.
2023 Gnarly, Book Launch + Exhibition, ARIES Gallery, LONDON (MAI 25th)
2023 Fire show, Group show, See Gallery, Paris
2017 Tales of Light, Mannerheim Gallery, Paris
2016 London Soholight curated by Robert Montgomery
2015 Singapore ART week
2014 0fr / PARIS / Vision Abstract
2014 0fr / PARIS / On fire / collective show
2013 Patricia Dorfmann / PARIS / collective show
2013 Mur Marron / PARIS / collective show
2012 Musée d’art moderne Beaubourg / PARIS / Film Festival: “le dernier voyage de Maryse Lucas”
2012 0fr / PARIS / NYX
2011 Art and Rapy / Monaco / Vision Abstract
2010 0fr / PARIS / Vision Abstract
The Face Magazine