Nicolas Rivals
Texts and Artworks

French photographer Nicolas Rivals is based in Paris. In one of his latest series entitled 'Eloge de la Stabilité' (In Praise of the Stability) he creates amazing light paintings. Regarding them he associates : 'There is always hope that even in the depths of night a glimmer will appear. Light is never as reassuring as the anguish of the shadow. A little light, a little sense would for a moment make the chaos disappear.' Rivals works show stunning luminous installations in midst of a cold concrete surrounding. He creates a graphic connection between the stony walls and the tenderness of the golden light - and achieves a very aesthetic symbiosis between two extremes.


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Nicolas Rivals Uses Light To Paint Arresting Portraits
by Sara Barnes

In a series titled Light Rorschach, photographer Nicolas Rivals paints with light in dark spaces. Using a torch light and a camera with a long exposure, the artist draws and contours an arresting image. When I look at these photographs, I instantly see a face. But, Rorschach can refer to a couple of things. There is the Rorschach inkblot test, which is a psychological test. Additionally, a character, the anti-hero in the graphic novel Watchman has the same name. Knowing this and studying Rival’s work, his interpretation seems to be a combination of the two influences.

According to his website, Rival wants us to question the reality of the photographs.  Could these things possibly exist? And, if they do, what are they?  Rival insinuates that the beings in Light Rorschach exist, referring to subjects as masks, meaning that they have some sort of identity. And, they observing us as we look at them. He writes : …turns observer and observed through the eyes of spirited but ultimately see some of your own personality and therefore yourself. Cross between the work and the viewer as an introspection looks these masks seem to shout.

“Tell me what you see and I’ll tell you who you are.”

If the eyes are the window to the soul, then the soul of these light masks are serious and demand your attention. The lines of the painted light frame the neon blue, red, and green discs. They definitely aren’t human, and seem like they belong in a sci-fi story.

Nicolas Rival - Light and Photography

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