Six portraits among the 650 made by Christoph de Barry. - Christoph de Barry

  • Place Kléber, in Strasbourg (Bas-Rhin) will soon be the scene of a particular work of art: 550 photo portraits, printed on posters of one meter by one meter, will be stuck on the ground.
  • It's an idea from photographer Christoph de Barry. "I wanted to build something positive with the people of Strasbourg," he explains.
  • In these portraits, each person photographed wore a mask and wrote a message on it.

A giant checkerboard of portraits. Place Kléber, in the heart of Strasbourg (Bas-Rhin), will soon be the scene of a somewhat special work of art, the “Mosaic of Hope”. It is the photographer Christoph de Barry who is behind this innovative idea.

"How did she come?" Of great frustration and an awareness at the end of confinement, he remembers. I told myself that the hardest part was yet to come, economically or socially with the rules on regrouping. So, instead of waiting at home for things to get better, I turned to the future and I wanted to build something positive with the people of Strasbourg. "

"Volunteers came from everywhere"

Originally, the freelance entrepreneur had in mind to put in the box 450 people, anonymous and from all walks of life. "I just wanted to create events to photograph a maximum of one day with my mobile studio," says the man who therefore moved to the Family Allowance Fund (CAF) of Bas-Rhin, at Emmaüs, in premises association, business and even a squat.

Except that he was a victim of his success. In total, 550 people have now been saved to his memory card. “Three weeks ago, I thought I would never make it and finally it got off to a great start. Volunteers came from everywhere. "

"It gave me a hell of a potato!" "

There was only one rule to follow: wear a mask. "Because it is recommended and because it is a great surface for expression," explains the artist, who therefore let his interlocutors write what was important to them. Without changing their message if they were to be repetitive with others. "Freedom, benevolence and love are themes that have come up often," continues Christoph de Barry. "There are also word games, written first names, a stethoscope drawn by a nurse ... Lots of anecdotes that touched me. I'm exhausted but it gave me a hell of a potato! "

Christoph de Barry at work. - Christoph de Barry

So much the better because his project is not finished. He still has to print the 550 portraits of 1 meter by 1 meter and stick them on Place Kléber, on the side where the Christmas tree takes place annually. "I will make a square of 30 meters by 30 meters and an overflow in the direction of the statue in the direction of General Kléber. I will place the photos almost at random since I took 60 on a black background. I intend to use it to make something visible visible in aerial view, ”reveals the artist, before saying a little more. "It will probably be a text, it's a surprise! "

The work will be ephemeral, like those of the famous JR, which inspired him. "If it doesn't rain, it will last 2-3 days," imagines Christop de Barry, without knowing yet what he will do with all this paper afterwards. "Those who want to recover their portraits, don't worry. Otherwise, maybe an exhibition. We'll see. I can also have them withdrawn to those who want… ”Against a financial contribution this time. In total, the project will have cost him "11,000 euros". "Even 12,000 euros if I pay myself," laughs the creator, who had collected 4,500 euros through a crowdfunding operation.

“I had incredible meetings and it was very touching to see all these smiles. Taking pictures of people right under their shoulders and seeing their expression gives something very interesting, he concludes. And clearly, it also made me a little publicity! "

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  • Art
  • Strasbourg
  • Photo