Assembling thirty photographs by Dolores Marat, all dealing with the animal kingdom, the exhibition at Arles' FLAIR Galerie consists of Fresson prints, a rare printing process befitting "the oneiric quality of Marat's work."
In Marat’s photography, a cat is not necessarily a cat, a woman may very well be a crocodile, a spider or a fly, and a bush can turn into a dog. As suggested by one of her books, entitled Illusion, Dolorès Marat has a penchant for side roads.
Marat originally worked as a seamstress, then a salesperson in a camera shop, then a photographers’ printer, to a lab assistant at L’Oréal magazine, a studio photographer, before finally working for herself as a photographer in 1984, at age 40.
Sh steered toward taking personal photographs, making a meagre living, but focusing her time on initiating her own research projects, leaving still life and the studio behind.
Her years as a seamstress gave a “visual acuity, this attention to detail, a meticulousness she would be able to transpose in her work.”
Having been acquainted with Fresson’s printing process in her previous career, Dolores Marat knew she would use this particular form of expression, a technique invented in the 19th century for pictorialist photographers and adapted to color printing in the mid-20th century.
From her first signed print in 1983, she has been faithful to a process rendering a velvety softness that loses the spectator somewhere between photography and painting.
Dolores Marat’s exhibition at Flair Galerie, situated in the centre of the French town of Arles, is the pinnacle of a promising career in photography so far.
Marat is represented by Galerie Françoise Besson in Lyon. Zoom, an exhibition of Dolores Marat’s work, is on show until August 27, 2016