AM Art Films
Megève, 2015

Life creativity

Philippe Durand

Halfway between contemplation and mental photography, Philippe Durand explores mountains and melting snow.



Halfway between contemplation and mental photography, Philippe Durand explores mountains and melting snow. He seeks to capture the structure of snowflakes. His vision results in lenticular photos that are on the verge of abstraction.

The artist

Philippe Durand was born in 1963. He is a photographer and lives in Paris.
He is represented by the Laurent Godin gallery.

Technical data

Georges de Genevraye
Susana Kourjian
Music composer
Alexandre Petit


Inner-outer journey

From the very first images of La créativité du vivant (the creativity of life), the film by Georges de Genevraye, a slight shiver runs through us. Not a shiver of terror but rather the  feeling that accompanies us in the first moments of a walk, when at the end of the winter, we plunge into the wintery sweetness of a landscape. The lens places itself up against a delicate, airy substance; at first glance, it’s impossible to tell with any precision if it’s froth, moss, sponge or snow. But doubt fades away very quickly at the sight of the advancing parade of chairlifts and fir trees: we're in the mountains. In the Alps. In the snow, just before it disappears. Focused on the precise moment when the snow crystals begin slowly melting away, the artist Philippe Durand compels us to walk in his footsteps. At the moment when the white mantle of the mountains becomes smudged and pierced, revealing, little by little, rings of nature that had, until then, been sleeping. Slow and dreamy, Georges de Genevraye’s camera is no less precise in detailing the awakenings of nature, which the artist lets speak through his photographs. While the director adopts an intimist perspective, the artist wins our trust. With him, we explore these landscapes as they warm to the rhythm of his hesitations, illuminations and reflections. At the centre of each of his searches, there is the elusive lightness of the snow, as well as his continuous dialogue with the mineral and plant worlds. Armed with his 3D Wizard, Philippe Durand seeks to draw out their infinite poetry. With the help of lenticular imagery, he brings together three facets of the same view into one, imbuing the images with a sense of depth.

But technique alone is not enough. Not content only to collect samples of this generous nature in perpetual transformation, Philippe Durand, the eternal walker, personifies it to the point of revealing its creativity. Not only do his photographs show nature in its different facets, but in addition, the artist pays tribute to its immense graphic and formal inventiveness. In the pareidolia mode, we recognize shapes and patterns that are familiar to us and seem to have been drawn by nature itself. At once wild and ephemeral, this ‘creativity of life’, which navigates between abstraction and figuration, is often one step ahead of the artist. This is what, humbly, Philippe Durand seems to whisper to us under the complicit gaze of the director Georges de Genevraye. The music of Alex Petit discreetly accompanies the images, gently chiming the notes of a heart-warming inner journey that unfolds coolly outdoors.

Anaïd Demir
November 2019

The art critic and exhibition curator Anaïd Demir has collaborated on numerous publications including Le Journal des Arts, Beaux-Arts Magazine, Photo, Le Monde 2 and GQ… as well as on Radio Nova. An author of novels deeply rooted in the art domain such as Le dernier jour de Jean-Michel Basquiat (2010, Ed. Anabet) and Joconde Intime (Éditions Léo Scheer-Laureli, 2011), her upcoming novel, Maison-mère, is currently under preparation and has received the support of the CNL.
AM Art Films