Believe it or not, his works aren’t created on Photoshop, even though they have the gravity defying features commonly done up on the program. French artist Philippe Ramette adheres to his philosophy that nothing should be faked, which is why you’ll notice little incongruities throughout his pictures: “You see a tension in my hands, my red face is far from serene as the blood rushes to it, my suit is ruffled.”
Ramette sculpted his way to fame in the 90′s as part of the French contemporary art scene; creating odd wooden and metal objects & instruments. The next logical step in his career was photography, and through it he has created a strange, neo-romantic universe, using well planned, yet utterly irrational situations. His works seem to create a statement about gravity, weightlessness and man’s relationship to the landscape.
Ramette still sees himself as a sculptor and goes to extraordinary lengths to create his highly implausible set-ups, building hidden metal supports that he calls “sculpture-structures”. He has metal rings tethered to him by the ankles as he hangs from buildings, and metal seats hidden by his suits jut out from cliff sides to hold him up; all of these recreated from sketches that he considers storyboards- this is probably why his photographs have been compared to the work of Buster Keaton and the world of silent cinema.
The image you see above was shot in the middle of Hong Kong’s harbour, the inspiration of this scene came to him in a dream in the early 90′s. For the shot, a watertank served as an underwater float for the balcony and was put in place by a barge and crane; Ramette then secured his feet on supports, leaned back and clung to the wood. During the initial attempts, he was soaked by waves and had to swim to safety.
Yearning for the effect of absolute, implausible serenity Ramette dives under the waves for his series Rational Exploration Of The Undersea, which was set off of the coast of Corsica. Wearing lead weights under his suit and around his ankles, he hired a team of divers to supply him with oxygen when needed. Waiting for the bubbles and the divers to move out of frame, Ramette’s team would capture the effect of stillness. Ramette has commented on the experience saying, “there I was in a suit on the seabed, weighed down and able to walk underwater as if on land, unaffected by the currents. For me, that was a real pleasure.”
If you enjoy his works, you can see more picture here!