Matthieu Venot

We’ve been captivated by the simple, graphic nature of this French self-taught photographer’s shots of pastel-hued buildings. Grafik caught up with Matthieu Venot to find out more about his work.

What first drew you to architectural photography?

I describe myself as a creative person, rather than a photographer. It sounds strange but I used to play guitar in a band and when the band stopped I realised I needed to create again. That’s when I started photography. I learnt techniques mainly using tutorials on the internet. Before I began to take photographs, I wasn’t really that interested in architecture but I wanted to show the city that I live in my own way so I used buildings, especially their details, to create abstract images.

What do you think makes a strong image?

To me, it is all about the feelings and imaginings that the photographs can create. I am an optimistic person, I try to convey this optimism in my photographs. I go out on sunny days because I like to use the sky like a clean background which is not disturbing the composition. And the colours are more powerful when it is sunny.

Tell us about a recent photography series you’ve worked on and what you wanted to achieve?

I have a photography series entitled Prism, where I tried to abstract the context to create geometric shapes and bring out the colours to create simple and original compositions. My series Ain’t Got No Troubles is focused on architecture details, residential buildings in particular. I tried to capture a world where nothing will happen. It’s all about freedom and invincibility.

Colour palette is very important to your shots, how do you avoid repetitiveness?

To me the key is curiosity. It’s like I play a game when I go out shooting. To take better photographs I practice a lot and the more I take pictures, the more I learn about the composition, the light and colours. I believe that the experience gained from my work makes me avoid repetitiveness.

Tell me a little bit what you’re working on at the moment?

I’m working on a new series about industrial areas. I’d like to create a book about my work. It may be utopian, but who knows it might interest a publisher. I’m also currently taking part in an exhibition entitled Perspective Carré (‘square perspective’) in Paris.