My name is Gaspard Claude and I live in Paris, in a small maid’s room under the roof facing the Arc de Triomphe, in the 16th arrondissement of the capital. After studying journalism and political science, I became passionate about street photography from an artistic point of view : a useful practice to observe and question the society that surrounds us ; discreetly, and without disturbing it. I decided four years ago to become a freelance journalist/editor in order to work from home with my computer, and be able to devote time to photography every day. My daily life is organized to make this photographic practice possible.
While walking the streets of my neighborhood, I capture totally mundane scenes, that I call the “non-events” of the streets. The objective is to make this banality of everyday life speak for itself; scenes of street that we do not take time to observe in a hectic work day. I walk the streets when people bring them to life, in search of unnoticed moments, to make visible invisible elements. Certain themes imposed themselves on me in an unconscious way : beggars, the old people, dogs, legs, etc. I chose black and white, out of love for photographers like Elliott Erwitt, André Kertész, Raymond Depardon, Richard Kalvar, or Vivian Mayer. Color photography is another job.
The vast majority of the photos are taken in my neighborhood near the Arc de Triomphe, between the 8th, 16th, and 17th arrondissements of Paris. Rich homeowners, attentive beggars, strolling tourists, busy workers, manic janitors, strolling dog owners : it is a large heterogeneous ecosystem that has a lot to tell us.
I go out to take pictures every morning, every noon and every evening, all year long, including weekends. When I am in Paris, I organize my days around these outings. Depending on the day and the time of day, the people I meet are different : on weekends, tourists thirsty for new discoveries replace office workers who have gone to rest elsewhere; the beggars are always there. On Mondays, everyone finds their place. This is what makes the streets of Paris so interesting: scenes can be created every day and at any time ; as long as you are attentive and available.
I don’t know. I found in photography a form of expression that I had been looking for a long time, I believe, and since then I no longer want to leave it. Do you see that feeling of saying “this job is for me”? This is what I felt when I discovered Elliott Erwitt’s work and humor. And yet, I do not see myself becoming a photographer for magazines or newspapers. If I have to have a food job that I do not like on the side in order to keep this freedom, then I will sign up. My lifestyle is more like that of a wobbly artist rather than an accomplished photographer. Whatever, that is how I have learned to feel good. But in the end, why these photographs ? I don’t know.