Sébastien Kohler’s portraits are mesmerizing and confrontational. The subjects gaze directly in to the camera, resulting in images of depth and intensity. And: he uses an old technique for his art.
Born in Switzerland in 1969 and resident of the western city of Lausanne, Sébastien Kohler is a self-taught photographer. He has focused on the wet collodion process of photography for several years. The method was developed in 1851 by the English sculptor, Frederick Scott Archer. The principle is simple: if one places a negative in front of a black background while lighting it from the front, it appears as a positive, because the light illuminates the metallic silver, which develops the picture.
The wet collodion process produces excellent negatives on glass, which creates a timeless impression. The full richness of Kohler’s photos can be savoured in person at the Camera Museum in Veveyexternal link until March 14, 2018. In the exhibition, a video shows him at work in his studio, how he prepares his workspace and his model; motionlessness is key for a few seconds before a timeless image is produced. Prepare to be entranced.