Patrick Tosani Patrick Tosani is a French artist and photographer born in 1954. He studied architecture in Paris between the years of 1973 and 1979, he then launched his career in photography. Throughout the twenty years of his photography career he developed certain techniques and styles that was considered outside the norm; he looked at things objectively and focused on precision, frontal shots, sharpness and colour expansion in order create visually strong images. Tosani’s themes can be considered rather ordinary but address the concept of ‘fragment’ – he usually featured manufactured objects in his photographs such as spoons, beads, clothing and others. He also used humans in his photos but presented them in abstract ways using only sections; heads, feet and nail biting. His work focused on trying to isolate a small part of reality and produce a visually stimulating overall affect.
Patrick Tosani is most famous for his colour work - since the early 1980s he has developed numerous series of large colour photographs. Theme that runs throughout his collection is precision, his series is made up of precisely cropped close-ups of varying types of objects. Interesting yet unusual items are used like fingernails, spoons, scalps, drum skins, levels, shoe heels, circuits, and the soles of feet. The objects he uses contribute to the overall effectiveness of the photographs as well as the composition, colour, sharpness, and lighting.
This photograph focuses on making simple things look interesting and mysterious. This is an image of someone’s head taken from above (birds eye view) . The background is plain white, the only visible substance is the shadow that the hair casts. The picture only depicts the person’s scalp and no facial features are visible. The subject is placed in the centre so doesn’t follow the rules of thirds but this draws out eyes to the centre of the scalp. The image is very simple and this feature is apparent in almost every collection of his photography. The lighting is very balanced as the dark hair is contrasted really well with the plain white background. The hair is framed by the white background. The curls are really defined and good detail is ensured due to the simplicity of the colours and subject. The image is so simple yet it is intriguing because of the perspective of the person, the angle is unusual because we don’t usually see this in everyday life. The photograph is mysterious because we want to know more yet we are given no answers or clues about the person we are looking at. The meaning behind this photo is quite controversial as it can be interpreted in different ways. I believe this photo suggests individuality and there are more ways to look at a person than just face-level. We so accustomed to looking at people and identifying them by their facial features that when we can’t see this we have to rely on other aspects of their bodies. I am so intrigued by this image because of it’s unusual tendencies and uniqueness. I believe that this is trying to portrait that there are different types of identity. This image was featured with a range of different heads in the same style which created a really powerful overall effect and showed contrast between different people.
This is a simple image of a silver/metal teaspoon. It is positioned in the centre and the background is just plain grey, there are no other visible subjects such as shadows present or any distraction whatsoever to the main focus point – the bowl of the spoon. This photo is an extreme close-up of a very simple house-hold item but the compostion is so interesting and we are able to see fine details that we miss on a day-to-day basis. The object is so ordinary, this is effective because it is contrasted to the unusual perspective. The lighting is very balanced as the background is lighter than the foreground and therefore the subject really stands out and the outlines are very defined. Because the background is lighter, it acts as a frame and creates a vignette effect and draws your eyes in to the centre point. A lot of Tosani’s work was presented in part of a series and the spoon series featured the same object taken from various different angles and displayed together. I find his work interesting because he has the ability to look at ordinary things and make them intriguing. His photographs demonstrate that every substance no matter how small or simple can be dynamic and excitable. Patrick Tosani is a real inspiration as I really enjoy close-up photography and looking at things in different angles than normal in order to create visually stimulating photographs. What I think is most interesting is how he uses subjects that are considered so boring and banal yet manages to amaze people and create such strong impact. The scale is really effective as the object looks huge in comparison to the reality. The perspective is crucial in order to compose a very good image. The position of the spoon is straight – almost like it’s talking to you this is powerful because we don’t ever see this angle.