Manolo Chrétien, b.1966



Manolo was born in Orange, France on a French Air Force base. He graduated from the prestigious ENSAAMA Olivier de Serres, Paris in 1991. Fascinated by the world of machines, aeronautics in particular, Manolo’s work returns to his childhood memories: a universe made of bright aluminum, hot tarmac and kerosene smells. It is essential for Manolo to recapture the innocence of his vision as a child and to reveal the wonderment he felt.

In recent years, his work has taken on a more modern aesthetic approach. Planes, cars, spaceships are the symbol of a world constantly moving and pushing boundaries. They are considered to be the mirror of human ambition. Manolo is interested in playing with the purity of forms; as plane designs are so fluid for aerodynamics purposes their outlines tend to be very pure and organic. With this, he brings a new and original dimension to photography. Determined to keep coherence between the subject and material, Manolo uses a technique of fine art print on brushed aluminum, the metal used for the body of planes. He calls it ‘Aluminations’; a brilliant mix of illuminations, hallucinations and aluminum. His series ‘Nouveaux-Nez’, is the result of a face-to-face interaction between the artist and the aircrafts he has seen taking off and landing from Paris to Tucson, since his early childhood.

Critics have recognized Manolo’s works since 1998 with a first series of photographs on the theme of boats ‘Effets Mer’. His 2002 series ‘Juste-Ciel’ was a broad success, followed in 2007 by ‘New York Citillusions’. Numerous galleries in France, Germany, China, the Netherlands and the UK have exhibited Manolo’s works.

Manolo currently lives and works in Blois.