Thailand, 10 a.m.
Sidney Regis is walking along the coast, looking for the best location for his shots. A rather mischievous looking fisherman waves at him. “Come closer!”, he seems to say.
The fisherman stares at Sidney for a moment and tells him: “You should go just there”, pointing to a nearby creek. Sidney thanks him and walks down to the shore.
He immerses himself, with the heavy and voluminous camera, lent by Grégory Colbert. The water is crystalline and gives an undefinable feeling of weightlessness. It rained yesterday and the drops seem to have tainted the water with an unreal green that Sidney has never seen before. Something else is odd. This site is completely empty: not a fish, nothing!
After several hours spent in water waiting for the ‘good’ light, Sidney comes out. The fisherman is waiting for him. His eyes are sparkling and he grins. He shouts out: “How was it?”. “Empty” Sidney replies. “A long time ago, this place was full of life ” the fisherman says ” But after the tsunami, everything went away and disappeared. There is no fish anymore, nothing at all! It will take years to come back.” He sighs, and hurls perplexed: “So, what did you photograph?” Sidney: “Light,water… and silence.”
The fisherman smiles.
Sidney Regis started taking pictures after working with Gregory Colbert, as a model for his underwater series, swimming with amazing animals, like whales or manta rays. Water has always been his element and it is no wonder he broke the record of free diving in 2006/2007. He feels the beauty of the sea and thanks to his mentor, Gregory, he started capturing it.
The fisherman was the messenger to guide Sidney to another water reality; maybe it was a joke at first. But this picture was the beginning of a new artistic adventure for the artist. He developed a method to capture the silent lights of the water around the globe and is opening another wonderful world to all of us.
We were invited to curated the “Colours” issue of Selections, a leading Art Magazine from the Middle East. We decided to focus on a personal area of interest: the use of colours in relation to different materials.
We were thrilled to have Akili Tommasino and Pendar Nabipour as our contributors. A big thank you to the artists for their time and great insight: Jean-Michel Othoniel, Jacob Hashimoto, Nabil Nahas, Marcel Wanders, Hadieh Shafie, Anish Kapoor, Sidney Regis, Hoda Tawakol, Nadim Karam, Maha Malluh and Farhad Moshiri.
friday – saturday: 11 – 6 pm
sunday: 11 – 5 pm
or by appointment
38 W. 28th Street, Floor 5
New York, NY 10001
“If water has a memory, I’m trying to capture it.”
Sidney Régis embarks us in a mysterious and poetic journey, underwater, he started in 2008. Water is sublimated in his pictures. “I immerse myself motionless, free-diving in a world I thought I knew perfectly. Suddenly still objects become inwardly “alive”.
In “Silent Lights” series, the artist revisits, underwater, the classic themes of still life and landscape. Strongly influenced by the synergies between the occidental and oriental philosophies and cultures, his photographs invite us to reflect upon our role and our perception of nature.
He photographs these objects the same way he would photograph people: capture their “interior life”. The resulting energy vibrates with colours who seem to become pictorial notes. It is not a leaf, it is not a flower, these are not ashes: they become “living” objects. Sidney Régis sublimates this vibration into pictures where our imagination can wander.
The deep colours and the velvety texture, beautifully rendered by a printing technique developed with Alice Tremblais -one of the best master printers based in Paris-, envelop the viewers. Sidney Régis’s pictures don’t depict a specific situation or location: they are “an experience”, in the line of Rothko’s works. They trigger emotions and aim at connecting us with ourselves but also with the mysteries and poetry of the underworld.
“I don’t look at my subject: I am in it. “
The images are taken around the globe and seem to echo each other. They converge and are combined into four main categories: horizon, objects, colours and light, like a tribute to the rigorous classification inspired by Bernd and Hilla Becher.
The voluptuous and subtle colours emanate from the alchemy between water, light and random elements -sometimes incongruous, sometimes beautiful and poetic- that come on Sidney’s path.
The images are all taken under water without staging, without movement of the photographer, in natural light. Stillness enables him to capture emotions, mysteries and wonders, through his lens. The artist’s status lies in the ability to create a new world where objects become sculptures and water is colour.
Sidney Régis (Guadeloupe, 1979) is a photographer and “water art” artist based in Martinique and Paris, France. Sidney Régis has committed since 2008 to a poetic and conceptual Odyssey: he explores and creates, with the photographic medium, bridges between three fluids: time, light and water.
Sidney seeks to regenerate the ambivalence and complexity of these universal fluids, seen from the “inside”: underwater (ref – The Sea, Michelet, 1861). He revisits classic themes in the history of art, like still life, landscape, monochrome paintings,… and invites us to reflect upon the notion of « impermanence » and our role and our perception of Nature.
All the images of his projects are taken free diving and in natural light. His work combines complex techniques of shooting and complex printing processes (digital or film). Sidney Régis is working closely with one of the best master printers of his generation and has developed for each project innovative printing processes.
He discovered the underwater world at the age of 6, which became his. Sidney Régis grew up into a free diver, beat two French records and was sacred champion in France. His artistic journey started as an underwater model, “dancing” with animals in front of Gregory Colbert’s camera for “Ashes and Snow”. Sidney Régis developed his photographic skills with masters (Grégory Colbert, Koji Nakamura, Manuel Lazcano, Philipe Vène, Mark Sobczak, Randy Maldonado, Jacques Ballard, Jean-Michel Cambilhou…): this “atypical art school” enabled Sidney Régis to focus on what matters to him: express his own vision of water and let us see the subtleties, the rich colour palette, and so many wonders seen through an unusual prism: UNDER water.
His images are part of private collections in Montreal, New York, Paris, London, Doha, Johannesburg, Amsterdam …
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