Laurent Chéhère is a French artist who lives and works in Paris. He has a passion to explore cities, suburbs, countries, as he likes to explore all the fields of photography including reportage and photomontage. From his particular interest in Paris, architecture, cinema, social issues and people’s stories was born the Flying Houses.
Solstice (2020) from the Flying Houses series by Laurent Chéhère
The “Flying Houses” are a poetic vision of old Paris through which Laurent Chéhère questions his era with documentary, aesthetic and intimate concerns. He raises various subjects, futile or not and talks about Paris that makes you dream and the one that does less so. Inspired by the poor and cosmopolitan neighborhoods, the author isolates these buildings of their urban context and releases them from the anonymity of the street to tell the life, the dreams and the hopes of these inhabitants. Nostalgia for a lost time also nourishes this work of memory.
Resuscitating buildings from the past, he tries to rediscover the taste for childhood and innocence. Finally, he invites all his influences from Jules Verne, Hayao Miyazaki, Albert Robida, Moebius, Bruce Davidson, Robert Doisneau, Willy Ronis, Wim Wenders, Federico Fellini, William Klein, Serge Gainsbourg, Jean Cocteau to Marcel Carné.
These photomontages are a puzzle of hundreds of elements captured and meticulously assembled afterward. In gallery, the images are shown in large format and allow the curious observer to discover hidden details of these accurate reconstructions by proposing several reading. From afar these fragile vessels appear carefree and dreamy. Up close, the story is more complex.
The artist uses this distance to propose different points of view and to warn against preconceived ideas. Love, drama, laughter and tears … everything becomes entangled in that human comedy.
Laurent Chéhère gives us some keys, yet these Flying Houses remain open to interpretation and the imagination of each.
A Special Day (2018) from the Flying Houses series by Laurent Chéhère
The Flying Houses book was published by Kehrer Editions in 2018.
Chéhère’s work has been the subject of articles or portfolios in Time Magazine, the Guardian, The Telegraph, Vogue Italy, Amica Mag, Vanity Fair, Foto Magazin, La Repubblica, Il Post, Huffington Post, Philosophie mag, El Pais.
A TV documentary on the project was produced by Arte TV in 2018.
The Lucernaire Art Center, Paris, France, 2020
Tokyo Institute of Photography, Tokyo, Japan, 2019
Commeter Persiehl & Heine Gallery, Hamburg, Germany, 2018
The Quinconces Theater, Le Mans, France, 2016
The Lumiere Brothers Center for Photography, Moscow, Russia, 2015
Hotel de Caumont Art Center, Aix-en-Provence, France, 2015
Muriel Guepin Gallery, New York, USA, 2013
Inox Gallery, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2013
Lume Gallery, Sao Paulo, Brazil, 2013
Paris-Beijing Gallery, Paris, France, 2012