Learning to Linger Over the Ordinary with Denis Brihat

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Gardenia, 1994© Denis Brihat, Courtesy of Nailya Alexander Gallery

The fine art photographer, born in 1920s Paris, has long been celebrated for his unique ability to inject the everyday with an extraordinary beauty

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” as the old adage proclaims, but in the case of fine art photographer Denis Brihat, beauty is in the eye of anybody who choose to share, however momentarily, his unique perspective on the world around him. Over the course of his 70 year career, Denis Brihat developed his own format – that of the ‘photographic painting’ – through which he created a nuanced and dedicated series of images of the under-loved and the overlooked in everyday life – whether that be the cracked, peeling skin of an ordinary shallot or the delicate petals of a common poppy.

Now, as a new exhibition of his confounding contribution to still-life photography opens at New York's Nailya Alexander gallery, we once more have an opportunity to enjoy the artist’s privileged and patient perspective on items we might otherwise dismiss as commonplace or ugly – fruit, vegetables and foliage included. “The subjects he favoured, in nature or his close surroundings, weren’t unusually beautiful, but simple, and of the sort that often passes unnoticed,” Nailya Alexander quotes photographer Pierre-Jean Amar, on Brihat. “His eminently poetic style of photography glorified them and paid them due tribute, inviting people to open their eyes and recognise the proximity of grace.”

Happy Monday! #AnOtherHappyMonday

Denis Brihat: Photographs 1964-2006 runs until May 11, 2016 at Nailya Alexander Gallery, New York.