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“You think you’re going on a journey, but soon it’s the journey that makes or breaks you.” Nicolas Bouvier (1929-1998), writer, poet, photographer, cartoonist, “L’usage du Monde” 1963.

From the age of 15, Bertrand Claude tracked down images using an old Russian Zenith. At 18, he won the Photo magazine competition with an image whose print was exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, Paris.

After a few years of perfecting his technique in the studio, he packed his bag and bought a ticket for a trip around the world. His journey stopped in Asia, where he spent more than 10 years: passionate about ethnography and archaeological photography, he visited the last peoples of Malaysia, the head-choppers of Borneo and the Papuans of Irian Jaya (West Papua). His photos appeared in Geo, National Geographic and Grand Reportage, always signed with the same intensity.

In 2002, Bertrand Claude set down his bag in Bali. Indonesia fascinated him and he devoted 10 years of his life to it. This immersion in the land of 17,000 islands enabled him to capture a beautiful series of images, the faces of men and women of rare intensity and uncompromising sincerity.

Bertrand Claude frequently spends several months in the equatorial rainforest among the Dayaks, then shares the life of the “mud men” in a Papua estuary totally cut off from the world after crossing passes over 3,000m high.

This demanding and passionate work gave rise to the magnificent black & white collections exhibited by Galerie Larcade. More than a gallery of portraits, it’s a gallery of emotions. These shots won several awards from international juries, including the prestigious title of Leica Master Shot.

On his return to Paris, Bertrand Claude turned his attention to street photography, taking advantage of the enchanting, frenetic spectacle that the city of light constantly offers. His City Trees series confronts the architectural rigor and elegance of Paris and Nice with the fractal silhouettes of the trees that line most of our city avenues, reminding us how much we need their presence and shade in our past, present and future lives. It’s as if these trees remind us, through their indispensable necessity, that they were our original environment. The renowned Openeyes magazine will publish a portfolio of images from this series under the title “L’instant décisif”.

The pandemic took him away from the fury of urban life to play with the fascinating transparent light of the French Riviera and the indescribable blue hues of the Mediterranean. His personal work is now anchored in this luminous setting, among the ochre facades, lavender-blue shutters and play of light of the historic towns of Nice and Grasse.