Property sold to benefit charities supporting the Beirut Explosion, 4th of August 2020
Le Plongeon, St Tropez, 1985
Chromogenic print, flush-mounted onto aluminium. Signed, titled, dated and numbered 1/3 in blue pen on a gallery label affixed to the back of the frame. Framed.
Image 150.2 x 100cm (59 x 39in.);
sheet 161 x 110cm (63 1/4 x 43 1/4in.);
frame: 163.5 x 112.5cm (64 1/2 x 44 1/2in.)
This print is in overall excellent condition. Warm tones. With one very faint handling mark in the lower right margin away from the image. With a very faint line around sheet edge resulting from where the frame rests, only visible under raking light and in close inspection.
The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.
Upon his arrival in Paris in the early 1960s, Herve Nabon had already won a number of prizes for his photographic work, garnering him significant attention in the advertising realm. As he settled in the capital, the photographer began collaborating with the renowned fashion magazine Le Jardin des Modes, and rapidly caught the eye of the Beauty magnate Elizabeth Arden, who commissioned him to produce campaigns for her cosmetics empire. From then on, Nabon entered long-lasting collaborations with such prestigious clients as L’Oréal, Pernod Ricard, Mercedes, El Corte Ingles and later Club Med, Paco Rabanne, Evian, Louis Féraud... Creative partnerships through which he encountered opportunities to shoot amongst the first photographs of Andie MacDowell, Stephanie Seymour, Elle McPherson, Cindy Crawford, Claudia Schiffer, Carol Alt, Janice Dickinson and Isabelle Adjani, only to name a few.
Nabon’s strength was first and foremost his chameleonic style: a highly intelligent visual language that could be adapted to his client’s identity whilst keeping a voice distinctly its own. As digital post-editing was not an option during that time, he needed to be extremely ingenious in the exact moment of photographing – making framing and lighting central to his creative process. In Le Plongeon, the photographer conveys the perrenial beauty of an ephemeral moment, seconds before the model’s immersive dive. Boasting flawless compositional structure and an exquisite sense of timing, the photograph survives as a wonderful testament to Nabon’s unique vision and photographic flair.
Over the course of his career, Herve Nabon has been acknowledged as one of the most important Beauty photographers of his time, particularly with regard to his work for L’Oréal which lasted for over forty years.
Today, he refers to his career as « 50 ans de vacances » - 50 years on holiday - a humorous and poetic quip that reflects both his love for photography in an era of insouciance and a work ethic steeped in professionalism, all-the-while celebrating beauty, leisure and a sense of effortlessness. His archive remains for the most part untouched and unseen: a treasure that documents the evolution of advertisement photography and pop culture in France.