Franck Doat: Symmetry In Surrealism

Photographer Franck Doat stands
before a sampling of his work.
(Photo © 2010 by Bryan Reesman.)

While I was visiting Monte-Carlo back in June, I wandered by an elegant apartment complex that housed an art gallery on its second floor. An intriguing display outside of the front window caught my eye, with the surreal imagery of photographer Franck Doat luring me back in the next day, when his exhibit first opened. I managed to have the gallery to myself for a little while just prior to the arrival of the artist himself, who came in to do a television interview for a local station.

Doat speaks French and little English; I speak English but have regrettably become very rusty with my French. Regardless, I was able to express my admiration for his work and traded contact information and was later sent the images you see below. The images in the exhibition were evidently shot in or near Paris and Beirut.

Much of Doat’s work has that strange, distorted look one experiences when spying one’s reflection in a funhouse mirror, and many of his images give curves and fluidity and breathe life into chiseled or constructed objects with sharp edges (like statues and buildings) that allow you to look at them in a trippy new light. Many of his photographs feature duplicated images that have been warped or anthropomorphized in the same way, hence the title of this story, although clearly he offers other perspectives as well. You can see for yourself below. (I have captioned the photos with my own tongue-in-cheek words. Hold your mouse pointer over the image for the title.)

During our brief chat, Doat told me he would like to come to New York. Hopefully we’ll be seeing his work in Manhattan soon. It’s far more engrossing to absorb it in person. By the way, it turns out that Doat also paints and is a sculptor as well.

Doat on display.
(Photo © 2010 by Bryan Reesman.)

Meeting the public.
(Photo © Franck Doat.)

Atlantis is rising again!
(Photo © Franck Doat.)

Give us a big metal kiss.
(Photo © Franck Doat.)

Slithering metal snakes over Paris.
Where's Godzilla?
(Photo © Franck Doat.)

Could this be the way to Shell Beach?
(Photo © Franck Doat.)

It's the Grinder that Judas Priest warned you about.
(Photo © Franck Doat.)

That's a tricky catwalk to straddle.
(Photo © Franck Doat.)

Alien architecture.
(Photo © Franck Doat.)

An unused set from A Clockwork Orange,
when the set designers did too much acid.
(Photo © Franck Doat.)

I could get all Freud with this...but I won't.
(Photo © Franck Doat.)

City of the future.
(Photo © Franck Doat.)




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