In her work, Beatrice Hug leads us into the world of dreams. Fantasies become sensory experiences. A photographer who also studied painting, Hug understands colours as energy, as the expression of an emotion. View on Colour is not just a look into one artist’s colourful universe; it is a glimpse of something entirely new. In her series Lumières Vives as well, Hug vividly shows how colours come to life in the light.
Hug creates translucent images, in which the sun makes certain colours shine. Her photographs reveal brightly coloured sections of these compositions which affect the viewer in an extraordinary way. Beatrice Hug knows which colours bring out the particularly powerful feelings and energies inside of us. Her intensely colourful work lets us drift along in pursuit of our emotions and memories.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Beatrice hug was born in 1961 in Singen, near the southern German border. Due to her proximity to the border triangle, she was more or less destined to develop a love of France.
A few years after studying painting and photography in Aachen, she made Paris her new home. She still lives as a freelance artist in the French capital.
Beatrice Hug’s abstract photographs have entirely “real” origins. They are coloured glasses and liquids arranged as spatial still lifes: installations with labyrinthine and translucent textures. With her medium format camera, a Pentax 6x7, the artist captures the interplay between the light and the particularly thrilling waves of colour that take form in the sun’s rays. With a shallow depth of field and varied exposure times, she creates images reminiscent of abstract and expressionistic paintings.
The energy of colours is my true passion. Beatrice Hug
Born in Singen, Germany
Studied Painting, Photography, and Illustration at Aachen University of Applied Sciences
Editorial staff at German Vogue and Elle
Freelance Art Director in Paris for the conception and realization of photo productions for international fashion magazines
Beatrice Hug, 7,24 x 0,26 Pier Giuseppe Moroni Gallery, Milan, Italy
Color Unlimited – Fotografien von Beatrice Hug, Kunstforum Büsingen, Switzerland
Abstractions, Galerie UNIVER, Paris, France
Lumieres Vives, Connoisseur's Gallery, Paris, France
Reflets, Espace 43, Paris, France
Urban, Atelier Galerie Le5, Paris, France
Beatrice Hug - Photographie, L’Aiguillage galerie, Paris, France
I am delighted we could meet here at the wonderful photography festival in Arles, and take this opportunity to learn more about your work. You got your first camera at the age of 13. Did you know you were destined to become an artist at that time?
From an early age, I sensed that art would be very important for me.
You studied photography, painting, and illustration. How did you come to focus on photography in your work?
I painted for ten years and would take photographs at the same time. My decision to pursue these avenues came from an awareness of my artistic vision: what I look at, why I enjoying looking at it, and what interests me about it.
Then you stopped painting altogether?
Yes. That happened in part because my photographs began to resemble my abstract paintings. I like the fact that, with photography, a piece of reality remains. I don’t manipulate the images. They are not painted over in Photoshop, or produced from my imagination. I shoot an aspect of reality that, when viewed in a particular way, holds a certain magic. Itry to transpose this magic.
What makes your works so special is that the viewer does see this magic. What is the story behind these emotions? What do you hope to capture in your work: personal emotions or their absence in art or society; the letting go of emotions; or how emotions are represented?
It is very important to me that we are able to com municate about our emotions. In today’s world, the mind is important to both art and society. Through my work, I am trying to intensify the emotional part. The idea for a composition will often come from a moment that moves me; it could be a poem, a piece of music, a landscape, or an interaction between two people. I see the essence of the moment, I feel it. It presents itself to me as a vision, a composition of colours. My picture is the translation of this moment into colour and light. When people look at the image, they are able to connect the colours and composition with their own emotions.
Does that mean you start with a clear image in your mind?
A composition of colours appears in my head. For the piece “FIRE”, this came to me while I was lis tening to music. I imagined the colours that reect the rhythm, temperament, and emotional intensity of the composition: velvety black, bright yellow, orange, red, and golden tones were in complete harmony with the music. Using an installation of glass vessels and coloured liquids, I translate the emotions created by the music into an abstract, photographic composition. As you know, I work with daylight – with the rising orsetting sun. Because the sun moves, it may be that the nal composition emerges only during the process of setting up the installation – even though there is always a clear goal. I shoot images of colours and light as they are affected by objects – but not the objects themselves. This is how a piece of music becomes a vision inside my head before it is translated into an image like “FIRE”.
Does each colour correspond to a specific mood, or can it represent any mood? For example, is blue always cool and red always warm, or is this something that can change according to the colour and composition?
It’s open. For many years, I found it almost impossible to integrate blue into my works. I simply couldn’t nd a blue that matched the blues in my visions. Then I read “Waves” by Virginia Woolf and, at that moment, I understood blue. Why? Perhaps it was the strong emotions the book evoked. I understood that my blue had to be warm, it had to be as powerful as red.
Unlike many other works that are dominated by blues, most of which have a cooler character, your blue tones carry a certain warmth, they seem to trap the light.
I think this is linked to the sense of movement and the depth of my images. It is not only colour, but also the absence of clear surfaces. There is a strong three-dimensional effect that captures a sense of movement.
Without talking of idols, is there another artist who, like you, focuses purely on emotions and their objectification?
Yes, Mark Rothko.
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