At the Amsterdam Lift-Off film festival this year I saw an amazing short film ”Between the Sand”, directed by John Picklap. It was about the journey of the artist Jean-Paul Bourdier and in some way the short presentation of his huge body of work and of his art and life perspective. I am so glad to be able to watch this film and learn about this talented artist. I admire his work very much. He has great impact on many of the young photographers involved in the art and conceptual photography today.
This was written in the description of the film:
Artist Jean-Paul Bourdier travels into covert desert locations to infuse the nude body, bold color, and stark landscapes producing a surreal visual effect. In doing so, Bourdier transcends traditional narrative to discover something more real and true about the nature of who we are.
Earth element is related to melancholic.
Positive qualities: vigilance, care-freedom, kindness, trusting nature, clarity, lightness, independence, dexterity, optimism, diligence, acuity, joy, smiling…
Negative qualities: lack of perseverance, dishonesty, gossipy, cunningness, backbiting, garrulousness, inconstancy, touchiness, prodigality.
Water element is related to phlegmatic.
Positive qualities: understanding, placidity, mildness, trusting nature, devotion, mercy, forgiveness, modesty, compassion, fervor, pliancy, contemplativeness, internalization…
Negative qualities: indifference, heartlessness, laziness, indolence, rigidity, lack of daring, lack of concern, instability, dejection
Air element is related to optimists.
Positive qualities: vigilance, care-freedom, kind-heartedness, trusting nature, clarity, lightness, independency, dexterity, optimism, diligence, acuity, joy, smiling…
Negative qualities: lack of perseverance, dishonesty, gossipy, cunningness, backbiting, garrulousness, inconstancy, touchiness, prodigality
Fire element is related to choleric.
Positive qualities: vigorousness, zeal, enthusiasm, courage, decisiveness, power of creativity, daring, sedulity…
Negative qualities: quarrelsomeness, irritability, urge to destroy everything, passion, immoderacy, jealousy, voraciousness, vindictiveness, violence, hate, anger, sudden ebullition.
If I didn’t attend the Lift-Off Film Festival and if I hadn’t watched the film ”Between the Sand”, directed by John Picklap, about Jean-Paul Bourdier, I might never knew about his existence and I would never write an article about this unique photographer, painter, poet, and performance artist. I would had never made the research about spiritual meaning of the 4 elements within human characters. Therefore, I would like to suggest to all of you one thing, whenever you got the chance to visit or participate at any interesting event, do not hesitate, just go. If you don’t go you will never know how many interesting people you may meet and what kind of interesting art you haven’t seen before you may discover.
So yes, you can agree or disagree with this spiritual approach but I am sure that you are going to be amazed with this talented and imaginative artist I have presented to you in this article.
Jean-Paul Bourdier never uses any digital enhancement or editing. What you see on his photos is what was really there at the moment when he captured these photos. Sometimes he plans the concept but sometimes he puts the plans aside because the concept appears itself in front of his eyes.
He published a lot of books that include his photographic publications, for example: Leap Into the Blue, 2012, Bodyscapes, 2007, and many more. I shared in this article some of his photos that are free on the web so you can see a sample of his huge body of work. I hope you are finding this artist interesting.
Jean-Paul Bourdier is creating fantastic interventions within the landscapes and human bodies that challenge viewers to question the lines between mind and body, human and nature, figure and landscape, dream and reality and balance between the 4 elements. The way he managed to bring his dreams and his imagination into the reality is just amazing. If I ever got a chance to visit California I will definitely try to meet him in person. I think he is magnificent personality, from whom we can learn a lot.