France , 1943-
Florence Gruère was born in 1943.
She made her first photograph ten years later (the sword of her grandfather, an Admiral in the French Navy). Her mother was the famous singer Michèle Arnaud. At home, the little girl saw many celebrated artists such as Jacques Brel or Georges Brassens and she felt that she knew them better when anxiously waiting behind the scene than when they were on stage. Her photography grew from there: bright fragments of their soul among darkness. She learnt how to print with editor and gallerist Carol-Marc Lavrillier. And she became a full time Photographer.
She chose to do her prints based on the gum bichromate process favoured by some early Photographers of the 19th century such as W.H. Talbot Fox. She creates her own coating, according to her wishes and to the particular image she plans to print. Which makes each print unique.
“I love these prints. They are images on which you can put your fingers. They have a strong texture. No two are the same, even if I try, I can’t make it. It’s the limit and the beauty of this process. You are never sure of the result. Before making a picture, I know exactly how I would like it to look on paper but it’s like embarking on a voyage for which you don’t know where you will arrive. No lab does bichromate prints, it’s purely a personal work, it’s an adventure, this is what I like”.