Richard Dumas

Born in 1961 in Paris, Richard Dumas has been collaborating with the French daily newspapers Liberation and Le Monde since 1990, capturing black and white portraits of leading figures in the art, music and film industries. Yet before that, the mysterious dandy in dark glasses was a former Ph.D. student in robotics. Dumas is not a portraitist, but an “amateur” photographer. An “amateur” in its etymological sense: “the one who loves”. The one who enlightens and who unveils. > Read more

From the end of the seventies to the beginning of the nineties, the photographer shaped his vision through literature, cinema, music and through chance encounters. There were those of daily life – friends, relatives, the neighbour’s cat, or a goldfish in its bowl... But there were also the more exceptional encounters with people he admires: a circle of living Gods he met backstage to the pace of shared concerts. A family. Among them, Willy DeVille, Nico, Miles Davis, Chet Baker, Etienne Daho of whom he was the first guitarist, and the great Leonard Cohen. DUmas' series “Amateur” recounts the music-lover artist’s influences and tempo.

In his personal pantheon, photographers such as Arbus and Penn cross paths with filmmakers like Hitchcock, Antonioni, Kubrick and also Lynch and Monteiro. « To look at the light objectively, and not just the way you imagine it, is the most difficult part. Without this objectivity, there cannot later be any subjectivity ».

Christian Caujolle has been one of the first defender of his work, first to Libération and then to VU agency. ”His approach is quite simply emotional, intuitive. It is not so much the art of making a portrait than of keeping track of an encounter. The first step is to make this encounter happen, to make sure it is fruitful.”

Self-portrait © Richard Dumas