“Know what you want and try to go beyond your own expectations….set a very high goal, one that will be difficult to achieve. Because that is an artist’s mission: to go beyond one’s limits. An artist who desires very little and achieves it has failed in life.”
Paulo Celho, ‘The Spy’
According to the scientific research two-thirds of the population have had déjà experiences. The phenomenon of déjà vu appears when we find ourselves in a totally new place or talk to a person we never met before and we recognize the scene as ‘familiar’ and ‘known’. The more you look the more something deep inside is telling you that you have already seen the object you’re looking at. Mesmerized from head to toe, swept along by certain forces, you feel endorphines running through your veins, just like you’ve heard a melody or song that you used to listen to over and over again, ages ago.
There is no doubt that ‘déjà vu’ refers also to the visual art. I am sure that many of you have experienced this sensation while seeing a new, moving, exceptionally beautiful artwork for the first time online or in an art gallery, art fair or a museum. There are artworks that speak to you with a familiar voice, making you love them ‘at the first sight’ – as they remind you of somebody or something. The image you look at with a lot of attention takes you down the memory lane, to the place you used to know, can recall – at least from the movies. Mastered by the scene, the mood for a little moment you forget about the rest of the world.
D.A. Woisard, ‘Seduction #2′, 2007, France, My Web’ Art
The true magic of art lies with the fact that even though the styles, the techniques and themes may reappear in new variations explored by different visual artist, the excitement, the thrill that the viewers experience while confronted with a new artwork – feels like something new, unknown and fascinating. Just like recognizing the notes of a new, fresh and captivating fragrance that surround you when you enter the luxury boutique of Dior in Paris in Galleries Lafayette for the first time.
The feeling I described above I experienced when I’ve seen the photographs by D.A.Woisard for the first time. It happened when I visited on the wonderful online gallery My Web’Art (www.my-webart.com) that recently has become the Partner of my blog.
D.A. Woisard, MATIN D’ÉTÉ, 2015, France, My Web’Art
Woisards work has been described by the legendary photographer Jeanloup Sieff as ‘retro-contemporary’ which I find very apt – as the work of the artist allows us to travel in time and space in a very convincing and natural way. What chain of events has brought Woisard into the greatness? In 1983 he became an assistant to Lucien Clergue and made the drawings of his retrospective exhibitions of his 30 years of photographs at the Musée d’Art Moderne in Paris (1984) and in Rochester (USA 1985).
This is how Clergue commented working with D.A. Woisard: “… I was very pleased with his collaboration and I could also appreciate his human qualities, his punctuality, his discipline in his work and his enthusiasm …”
Being around the great master of photography allowed D.A.Woisard to sharpen his photographer’s eye, to perfect his original perception and to direct his sensitivity towards new creative fields.
In 1984, Woisard presented his black and white work to Helmut Newton, who advised him to leave Marseilles for Paris, Milan, or New York.Encouraged by his master, the artist moved to Paris and worked for the major modeling agencies such as Glamour, Elite and Karin’s.
Helmut Newton, Monica Belucci, Private Collection
Consequently, publications at prestigious magazines such as ‘Photo Reporter’, ‘Harper’s Bazaar’ and commissions (Editions Régine Deforges, Robert Laffont ) sealed his destiny as a photographer.
It was at Bastia in 1994 that he exhibited for the first time Woisards photographs. Then he went on with his first Salon des Artistes Français, where he won the Bronze Medal in 1999, followed by the Silver Medal in 2000 and the Gold Medal in 2001.
Dominique-André Woisard is now an owner of a medal of honor, a member of the Jury of the French Artists, and a member of the Salon d’Automne. His talents are based on her three favorite themes: Portrait, Landscape (Especially Corsica, land of his ancestors), and of course Woman in his most absolute femininity, like straight out of Billy Wilder or Joseph Mankiewicz movie.
Jeanloup Sieff, Les Dos D’Astrid, Palm Beach, 1964, Private Collection
D.A. Woisard, similarly to his older fellow photographer, Jeanloup Siff developed a style characterized by clean, modern elegance, capturing long bare backs, sumptuous curves, elegant black dresses and ladies lingerie. If I was to describe D. A . Woisarsd in few words, I would call his work a tribute to the absolute feminine beauty, to their grace and divine power. I look at the artwork and feel seduced aesthetically and empowered at the same time.
But when we are talking about this French artist we cannot forget that there is much more than the exquisite aesthetics. To me – if we would like to compare this photographer to any living writer I would choose Paulo Coehlo – and call Woisard ‘Paulo Coehlo of B&W photography’. There are few reasons why I see the similarity of the artist work to the bestselling writer, adored by women all over the world. Both Coehlo and Woisard seem to be deeply inspired, fascinated by the vulnerability, sensitivity of feminine body and spirit. Moreover – they also seem to understand what is femininity all about, what are the most important aspects of it, what makes a woman a divine human being.
D.A. Woisard, ‘La Robe De Marie’, 2008, France, My Web’Art
Coehlo in his novels, describing beautifully the most ‘private emotions’ of his female characters allows us to witness a very true moment of sentiment, retrospection, melancholy, despair or solitude experienced by a woman while reflecting on love, passion and desire. The same technique, but in a visual way is used masterfully by Woisard. This makes the photography the greatest illustration to the Coelho’s words. Or, if you prefer – we could turn it all around – the words by the well-known Brazilian writer, Coelho become the greatest description of the Woisard’s photography.
D.A. Woisard, Rendez-vous #2, 2006, France, My Web’Art
“He’s seeing my soul, my fears, my fragility, my inability to deal with a world which I pretend to master, but which I know nothing about (…) At that moment, Maria learned that certain things are lost forever.”
“Let’s go back to the train station,’ she said. ‘Or, rather, let’s come back to the day when we sat here together for the first time and you recognized that I existed and gave me a gift. That was your first attempt to enter my soul, and you weren’t sure whether or not you were welcome. But, as you say in your story, human beings were once divided and now seek the embrace that will reunite them. That is our instinct. Initial desire is important because it is hidden, forbidden, not permitted. You don’t know whether you are looking at your lost half or not; she doesn’t know either, but something is drawing you together, and you must believe that it is true you are each
other’s “other half”
Paulo Coelho, ‘Eleven Minutes’
D.A. Woisard, ‘Seduction #1’, 2016, My Web’Art
“I’m not a body with a soul, I’m a soul that has a visible part called the body.”
“How does light enter a house? If the windows are open. How does light enter a human? If the door of love is open.”
Paulo Coelho, ‘Eleven Minutes’
D.A. Woisard, PARIS VIIÈME, 2012, France, My Web’Art
“It’s really easy being as romantic as people in the movies, don’t you think?”
“What’s so special about me?” There isn’t anything special
about you, at least, nothing I can put my finger on. And yet and here’s the mystery of life – I can’t think of anything else.”
Paulo Coelho, ‘Eleven Minutes’
D.A. Woisard, ‘L’Attente’, 2016, France, ‘My Web’Art’
“I’ve learned that waiting is the most difficult bit, and I want to get used to the feeling, knowing that you’re with me, even when you’re not by my side.”
“Human beings can withstand a week without water, two weeks without food, many years of homelessness, but not loneliness. It is the worst of all tortures, the worst of all sufferings.”
“Profound desire, true desire is the desire to be close to someone.”
Paulo Coelho, ‘Eleven minutes’
D.A. Woisard, ‘NU #1’, 2014, France, My Web’Art
“She asks him to touch her, to feel her with his hands, because bodies always understand each other, even when souls do not.”
“The strongest love is the love that can demonstrate its fragility.”
Paulo Coelho, ‘Eleven Minutes
Serge Lutens, Private Collection
When you look at the photography of that kind you allow yourself to participate in a deep experience that raises the spirit and makes us appreciate the female beauty more than ever before. One thing is sure, D.A. Woisard is an exceptional artist who desires a lot from his work and knows how to capture the magical moment. If you look carefully you will notice that his iconic photos speak volumes of their creator and the depth of his soul. The magical art of Dominique inspired me to take my own pictures in his very beautiful, ‘contemporary-retro’ style:
Private collection of the author
D.A. Woisard, ‘Portrait #1′, 2004, France, My Web’ Art
Since soon there is going to be a Valentine’s – the international celebration of love I would like to wish all of my dear readers a lot of faith in art and, of course, plenty of faith in love. At the same time I would like to invite you to visit a Photography Exhibition ‘Femmes Capitales’ organised by my friend Bianca Hutin, My Web’ Art and Galerie de Thorigny that is going to take place on 31 January in Paris . More information on this event you could find using the below link:
To paraphrase the aforementioned writer Paulo Coelho – we should never forget that art just like love is an act of faith. Its face should always be covered in mystery. It should be experienced with feeling and emotions because if we try to decipher it and understand it, the magic disappears.
P.S. To see more artworks by D.A. Woisard – please visit the Web’Art official website: D.A. Woisard at My Web’Art