Jacques Garnier is a photographic artist based in Southern California. He is an honor’s graduate from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a Master’s Degree in French Literature. Garnier’s photographs reside in museums, academic institutions and galleries throughout the United States and Europe.
Garnier grew up in West Los Angeles where his European parent’s values and traditions were juxtaposed against an inner city mentality. It is here that Garnier learned about the poetry of contrast and disillusionment. Artist, lecturer as well as photographer, Garnier’s formal and poetic images of abandoned spaces, both psychological and environmental, are an outgrowth of his personal search for the uncommon and unexpected.
Garnier’s major bodies of work share many common elements. Sparse and often formal, these color photographs explore the limits of psychological chaos seen through the residues of human existence. Mostly devoid of people, they portray a world whose architect is poverty and whose building materials have been deemed irrelevant. While all of Garnier’s projects have a documentary flair, the major bodies of work often focus on the frayed edges of society. These projects are often reminders of broken dreams and promises.
Most recently, Garnier is involved with many documentary projects. As a founding member of The Legacy Project, Garnier has made a 15- year commitment to archive the dismantling and urban renewal of one of the largest shuttered military base in the United States. In 2006, Garnier was one of these six artists who spent nine months transforming an abandoned F-18 hanger into the world’s largest camera in order to create the world’s largest photograph. Commentators and critics view the resulting 32-foot by 111-foot traditional silver gelatin image as a huge transitional statement marking the end of 167 years of film-based photography and the commencement of digital dominance. This endeavor has already produced two books with a third due in the fall of 2009. Garnier has also worked with the LA Conservancy helping to photographically preserve the architectural history of Los Angeles. Recently back from Armenia, Garnier documented the Armenia Eye Care Project, a group of devoted vision specialists who have been donating their time and resources to improving eye care in this part of the world.