All posts tagged: All Star

Valérie Belin and the female form

French photographer Valérie Belin’s portraits are not what they seem. Often focusing on the female form, they pick out the intersection between nature and culture in the construction of human identity. “In my work you always see someone who wants to be someone else,” says Belin. “With these portraits, I transform them into someone else.” Early on in her career she was interested in typologies, and created series on bodybuilders and Michael Jackson lookalikes. Her 2001 series Transsexuels is about metamorphosis, and shows trans women at the beginning of their transition; in 2003 she cerated Mannequins, using soft light and eye-level viewpoints to breathe life into realistic shop dummies. “Suddenly you realise this is a representation of Western beauty; a representation of a stereotype,” she says – a stereotype she aims to deconstruct. Belin is primarily a studio photographer but some of her shots are captured outdoors – the superimpositions in Brides (2012) show fast food joints and sex shops shot in New York, for example, juxtaposed with a photograph of a bride. For Belin, these …


BJP Staff