Adèle Mathieu is a French photographer based in New-York. Women hold a major position in her ethereal aesthetic and chimeric photographs. Discover her captivating universe and her idea of feminity in our interview for the Women’s History Month.
Hello Adèle, welcome on Lomography's Magazine! Can you introduce yourself for our readers ?
Hello, and thank you very much for your invitation. My name is Adèle Mathieu, I am 22 years old and just beginning to practice my passion. I just finished 6 years of studying in photography including 3 years in France and 3 years in Canada. I am currently based in New York where I work on some personal projects.
How did you start photography? What place does it hold in your life today ?
I started practicing photography since I was 12 years old and in a more thorough way since I was 16 years old. When I was young, my sisters used to take pictures of their daily life with a simple use camera and made a photo album out of it. After a few years, the album turned into a huge memory binder. I think that's one of the reasons that pushed me to start taking pictures more seriously.
I would say that photography still holds the same place in my life today. I love creating since I was born, it never really changed, photography is still very present in my daily life.
What are your sources of inspiration ?
I am inspired by a wide amount of artists and particularly attracted by painters. I am a follower of the Italian Renaissance (Michelangelo, Botticelli, Raphael). In photography it is very extensive, my inspirations can as much be a renowned artist as a growing one (Petra Collins / Shahine Héry).
We are talking today about Women’s History Month. Your shots and videos almost always relate to the body of women and issues of femininity. Can you tell us about it?
I often questioned myself about everything that revolves around the woman and finally sometimes I didn't need to look for the answer, it's something that I realized by myself because that's what I am and represent. Femininity is a simple state of mind, I reproduce it as I perceive it.
Could you tell us about your shooting mode? What camera or technique do you use to get this ethereal atmosphere on your shots ?
That's quite a common question that I get on Instagram, yet this mode of shooting has existed for almost a century. All it takes is some researches and to get to know some of the artists who have used this method to make it happen (and there are more than one). I specifically use my Canon AE1 as well as my "dreamy lens filter".
What do you think about the solidarity movement « female gaze » ?
I think this is a movement that is needed and that it allows one more step towards equality. The goal is obviously to rise together and that, regardless of gender. But it is interesting to see this highlight, to get more interested in the look that others have on the woman, and to see it evolve in the right direction thanks to the vastness of talented artists.
Woman's body is put under pressure coming from media, the industry and censorship overwhelm it a little more day by day. What do you think of this situation? What do you think we should do to make up for this ?
It's astonishing. Fortunately, we are lucky to see more and more women working in the media, for example; producer, director, writer... And to bounce back on the previous question finally, thanks to those changes « the female gaze » starts to find its place in the media.
As a woman and artist, what is your experience in the world of art and culture? Do you feel that gender is important? Do you have some positive or negative experience to share with us ?
Really good question. It is certain that for a majority of people, gender has importance because there will always be a question of identity behind it. Fortunately or unfortunately I haven't lived any negative experience yet, however, it's always positive to hear people with whom you are given to work with, say to you "we feel comfortable with you".
Do you have any advice to give to young women photographers ?
Stay true to yourself and do not seek to be someone else, show yourself how you are and not how you want to be seen. You will distinguish yourself only by being you.
Some projects for 2019 ?
Some projects here and there, to follow up ...
Thank you Adèle!