Maia Flore: A Fantastical Voyage
Photographer Maia Flore got a carte blanche from Institut Français and Atout France to capture the country’s most iconic places from Château de Versailles to Pont du Gard or The new Mucem in Marseille.
France and its cultural treasures offer an incredible playground for an artist as imaginative and elegant as Maia Flore. Her Sleep Elevation collection—images of beautiful young women suspended from clouds—made her an overnight star in the international art scene. Flore is part of a new generation but, even more interestingly, she belongs to the “new photography” digital generation, where images are constructed and captured in equal parts, where post-production (computer enhancement) contributes to the final result as much as the image in the shutter. As an artist who begins by scripting and storyboarding her photographs before slipping back behind the camera, this approach is one that fits Flore like a glove.
To give a fresh perspective on a country steeped in history, Flore transforms everyday scenes, being a bit of a magician herself. She completes this fantastic Tour de France in 66 days, leaping lithely from one end of the country to the other. Her lens reveals 25 living, grandiose, patrimonial sites: castles, museums, churches, grottoes, parks and woodlands… all of which become Flore’s stage. “Having the keys to the castle,” says Flore playfully, “gives you ideas.” And she is, indeed, full of ideas. Through the beauty in visual play she creates in each of her photos, it is clear that Flore doesn’t so much visit a place as “encounter” it. Each visual proposition is an experience, sometimes of the absurd, sometimes of playfulness or mystery, sometimes of light, nature, or adventure. In the end, a sense of freedom gives each of us – whether spectator or visitor—a burning desire to jump in and join this enchanted world.
[divider]About Maia Flore [/divider]
Born in 1988 in France, Maia Flore graduated from Ecole des Gobelins in June 2010. During her last school year, she went to Sweden where she started personal works. Under the Scandinavian light her first work was born: Sleep Elevations.
Flore’s work has been exhibited in France, Italy, Spain, London, and Guatemala. She is signed to Agence VU in 2011 and has done editorial work for Chanel, Christian Dior, Valentino, and Louis Vuitton. Flore has also been reviewed by The New Yorker as well as being featured on the cover of Le Monde.