Le Turk is a character, an entity of his own, a singular and erratic concept. Shaping and modelling falsehood, to get closer to reality, subliming artefacts to create aestheticism, here lies no denunciation, no other goal than that of the artistic ideal of beauty. Beauty or ugliness by the way. Truth comes from dystopia: exposing humankind, naked, as he is, in a collapsing world. Ugly, beautiful, dirty, disgusting, nasty, sublime, extreme, he is attracted to contraries, no moderation, everything is excess. As a mirror into the face of the world, a reflection of ourselves, where the holder laughs about the subject, the object, the spectator who can only be enthralled, disturbed, moved, as it is all about him. He creates the world, in his own image, passionately, mentally. Excessive, DIYer, painter, decorator, tragedian, Le Turk is the most patriotic of the French photographers. He finds the inspiration for his scenes in French history, in the circus, the cabaret, in the Pigalle fashion, in Parisian revolutions, the “Paris Commune”from the Christ to the Burlesque. His world is inspired from cartoons, Jeunet movies and Otto Dix or Jerome Bosch’s paintings. And even if his photographs are purely staged, they constitute nevertheless stolen life scenes, a captured moment, a conquered instant, made in cardboard, wood, polystyrene and other accessories. We met the Turk on the eve of his private viewing in an ephemeral gallery close to the St Lazare train station, in May 2015.
Here comes a young 33 years old man, a rough capillarity, decked out in a vest covered with decorations and military medals and an old pair of trousers with holes on his bottom. After a few questions where the man holds the mystery around his life and his work, always acting on a permanent theatre stage, we discover a charming character, brilliant, passionate, authentic and in spite of everything, genuine.