Jacques Olivar between contract work and
Jacques Olivar took an interesting career path from being trained as pilot to one of the Highflyers in the international photo scene. The photographer, born in Casablanca, has not just made himself a name in the advertising and fashion world, but has become an established figure in photography in general. This is confirmed not only through various collaborations with prestigious clients and brands, but is also testified by the large number of prizes and awards, that he gained throughout his career.
Despite or perhaps because of his great international success, however, one can not speak of a purely commercial orientation in Olivar’s doing. Looking at his works, they constantly oscillate between art and commerce. Between contract work and artistic freedom. Between artist and professional photographer.
This swinging between the two poles of photography is also made visible by the fact that a large number of his works have been published in art books. By this Olivar’s photography certainly rises to the level of art, even if the pictures are still fashion shots. Just recently his new photo book “Forever young” has been published, taking the reader on a photographic travel through the US always searching for more ahead of the current moment. Models and fashion serving as the motives and therefore the carriers of the images. And again Art and commerce enter into a symbiosis that is mutually enriching.
But whether Olivar’s photography is more commercial or artistic, it is definitely unique! One of the main differences from other photographers is his unique approach to light. Two different handling of light can be recognized in Olivar’s photographs: they are either bathed in yellowish, sometimes even greenish light that swins between cold and warm and a much colder lighting, emphasizing the strictness, pureness and elegance of the settings, models and the fashion presented. In this second case the lighting often comes along in a blueish tone. No matter what lighting he uses for his images they are always dominated by an ubiquitous elegance, behind which always a certain edginess hides. A combination making out the images’ charm and fascination.
A fascination that is also originating in his film background, letting the images not only come along with a choreography of the perfect lighting, but recurring to movie settings with all their details. Making you really look at them, than rather justing taking a glimpse. Dragging you into the story behind the pictures, which is barely visible behind the highly polished surface at first glance.
All images © Jacques Olivar