Galerie du Forez, the contemporary art affiliate of the design-e-space gallery, presents: Dan Hayon, Natalie Larsson and Tammy Trocki - "The Discreet Charm of the Ordinary"

The photo exhibition entitled "The Discreet Charm of the Ordinary" -at the Galerie du Forez from October 11 to December 13, 2014- brings together three photographers born in three different countries, whose lives have taken them to different parts of the world, but whose paths may have crossed, unbeknownst to them. What these three photographers have in common is an interest in the power of ordinary images to convey insights into meanings below the surface of things.

All three photographers use straight forward -humble even-, but different approaches and techniques. Dan Hayon dips into his "treasure trove" of old snapshots (the negatives of which were lost a long time ago) and images lifted from the Internet, and transforms these images into black-and-white photographs with a deeply human story to tell. Natalie Larsson exploits the immediacy and directness of an iPhone in order to catch images whose living energy has made a strong impression on her. Tammy Trocki takes beautiful pictures of nature and man-made things, beautiful or not in actual reality, and gives them an almost unreal, artificial aura.

As a matter of fact, there is a surreal aura "à la Bunuel" shared by all the photographs in the show, whether it comes in the form of story telling images, as in the case of Dan Hayon, in the form of immediacy filled snapshots, as in the case of Natalie Larsson, or through the "unreality" of Tammy Trocki's pictures.

Dan Hayon was born and educated in Bucharest, Romania, where he obtained an arts degree from the Nicolae Grigorescu Arts Institute. After living for many years in Israel, then in Sweden, he settled in Paris in 1992. His activity as a photographer has evolved in parallel with his career as a graphic designer and consultant. Dan's photographs have been shown in many personal and in group exhibitions, among which: a retrospective of his work at the Romanian Cultural Institute in Paris in 2006, a one-man show in Stroud, England in 2007, a personal exhibition at the municipal library at Trocadero, Paris in 2008, a retrospective show at the Dialog gallery in Bucharest in 2009, a one-man show at the Carturesti gallery in Bucharest. Dan's work was discussed in print and online art publications such as NextLevel AG and Punctum. Punctum chose to focus on the series "My Russian Spam Beauties", from which 3 works have been selected for the current exhibition at the Galerie du Forez.

Here is how Dan describes his approach and his creative process: "I collect images, often without knowing why, and I keep them in "virtual boxes" on hard discs; they are like notes in a notebook. Sometimes the titles tell the story, sometimes it lies between photos and it's up to those who see the photos to imagine it.

The portraits in the "Time Machine" series are among my first photos, from the 60s, when I was still a student at the Fine Arts Academy in Bucharest. I no longer have the negatives, I could only take with me when I left Romania one print per image, on small size Orwo paper. I lost track of them till one day I found them and scanned them. When I looked at them after all these years, I had the feeling I was embarking on a time machine…

I had been receiving in my electronic mail box lots of undesirable messages proposing encounters with young women. And since the messages were accompanied by small photos, I decided to rework them as polaroids -so as to give them the look of snapshots- and to create dialogues between these snapshots and the original texts, in broken English, language flaws and all. The result was the series "My Russian Spam Beauties".

Natalie Larsson was born in Russia and lives in Spain, where she works as a professional photographer. After leaving her native land, she spent some time in Malta, then lived for many years in Sweden, before deciding to move to Spain. Natalie studied photography at Berghs in Stockholm and attended an Expert in Visual Art program at the Miguel-Hernandez University in Elche, Spain. She has a Master of Photography degree from EFTI, Madrid. In the last couple of years, she has concentrated more and more on the vast artistic possibilities offered by the humble photographic tools which are the telephones, in particular the iPhones.

Natalie describes her "iPhonography" in this manner: "Instead of formulating my feelings in words and writing them down, I take a photo. The technicalities of making low resolution pictures and the easy editing with the free apps make it a blink of an eye experience... I use the iPhone for the unique qualities it possesses, qualities which match the raw and visceral nature of my work. I use it to augment my digital techniques in ways that are similar to analogue photography. The iPhone gives me a freedom and spontaneity that are almost magical".

Tammy Trocki was born and lives in the US. Her interest in photography dates back to her university years, when she studied black-and-white photography and worked in a darkroom. She later taught photography while on a Fulbright Scholarship in Clermont-Ferrand, France. While pursuing a career in technology and management in the Washington D.C. area, she continued to dedicate time to her keen interest in photography. She earned a degree from the Washington School of Photography, where she continues to show her work and occasionally teach.

Tammy's recent photography exhibition in Garrett Park, Maryland was appropriately entitled "A Little Unreal". She describes her pictures as "going beyond realism to capture what I see as essential, surprising, or mysterious in nature or the human landscape". Says Tammy: "I find my photographic images in often unlikely places -a junk yard, the wet surface of a parking lot, a swamp, reflections in a canal. I seek to capture nature and found objects revealing their rhythms and patterns, their sometimes surprising sense of hidden life."