MONUMENTS

It was in 2015, while walking in the streets of Paris, where I live, that the idea came to me to make a photo work around the monuments. The idea was to stage heroes from Pop Culture by integrating them into the scenery in the place of existing Parisian monuments. A way for me to pay tribute to the creators of these characters who inspire us and feed our imagination for decades. But, due to lack of time, I only started working on this project in 2018. After 2 years of work, 13 visuals have been completed (divided into two separate chapters). It has been a long wait for me, but I am delighted to finally be able to present this work that has been in my mind for many years.

This project is the result of a collaboration with 2 fantastic partners : the studio 95 Magenta (who realized all the CGI elements, integrated to the photographs, of the first seven images) and the CGI graphic designer Emmanuelle Vonck Lugand (who, as for her, realized the last six images). They brought all their know-how in CGI for the realization of this project and have magnificently managed the modeling part and the integration of the different characters. A huge thank you to them for their work and their talent.

So it is in Paris, this "museum city" that radiates throughout the world, that my new series of photographs is set. Here, frozen on huge stone pedestals, cult characters from popular culture are raised to the rank of "Monuments". It is a way for me to underline that these heroes of fiction are today part of the world's cultural heritage. Unfortunately a choice had to be made and for technical or aesthetic reasons, many characters will not be represented here. But it is a work which is far from being finished, and many other characters will come to supplement thereafter this list which, I hope, will be the longest possible !

The pictures of this series were taken "à l'ancienne", in film. The negatives were then digitized, then retouched, to add CGI elements. The figurines, which served as a basis for this work, were "scanned" in studio with the photogrammetry process. I thus considered this series as a real laboratory for image research where old techniques are mixed with the most modern processes. A new way of looking at photography. And a way perhaps to reconcile the purists with the avant-gardists of photography ;)

I now let you discover these images. Good viewing to all.

Fine art prints (in limited editions of 15 copies) of all photos of this series are available here : www.benoitlapray-shop.com

Monuments © Benoit Lapray (2018-2020)

CHAPTER 1

Film p​​​​​​hotography & Art Direction : Benoit Lapray

CGI : 95 Magenta

Figurines shots (in studio) for photogrammetry : Benoit Lapray

Photogrammetry modeling : 95 Magenta & Digitage

Photo retouching : 95 Magenta & Benoit Lapray

Production : Benoit Lapray

Films processing and scanning, on an IMACON scanner, has been realised by a photo laboratory in Paris.

  • MONUMENTS #01 / Pizza Eater 1984

    MONUMENTS #01 / Pizza Eater 1984

  • MONUMENTS #02 / Servant of the Princess 1986

    MONUMENTS #02 / Servant of the Princess 1986

  • MONUMENTS #03 / Kind ogre & his companion 1990

    MONUMENTS #03 / Kind ogre & his companion 1990

  • MONUMENTS #04 / Pocket monster & its trainer 1996

    MONUMENTS #04 / Pocket monster & its trainer 1996

  • MONUMENTS #05 / Amazon Princess 1941

    MONUMENTS #05 / Amazon Princess 1941

  • MONUMENTS #06 / Troops of the Empire 1977

    MONUMENTS #06 / Troops of the Empire 1977

  • MONUMENTS #07 / Cartoon couple 1988

    MONUMENTS #07 / Cartoon couple 1988

CHAPTER 2

Film p​​​​​​hotography & Art Direction : Benoit Lapray

CGI : Emmanuelle Vonck Lugand

Figurines shots (in studio) for photogrammetry : Benoit Lapray

Photogrammetry modeling : Digitage

Photo retouching : Emmanuelle Vonck Lugand & Benoit Lapray

Production : Benoit Lapray

Films processing and scanning, on an IMACON scanner, has been realised by a photo laboratory in Paris.

  • MONUMENTS #08 / Angry man 1962

    MONUMENTS #08 / Angry man 1962

  • MONUMENTS #09 / Lord of the Empire 1977

    MONUMENTS #09 / Lord of the Empire 1977

  • MONUMENTS #10 / Martial arts champion 1984

    MONUMENTS #10 / Martial arts champion 1984

  • MONUMENTS #11 / Warrior of the forest clan 2009

    MONUMENTS #11 / Warrior of the forest clan 2009

  • MONUMENTS #12 / Grey pilgrim 1937

    MONUMENTS #12 / Grey pilgrim 1937

  • MONUMENTS #13 / Billionaire vigilante 1939

    MONUMENTS #13 / Billionaire vigilante 1939