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Matthias Olmeta – Lettres à mes petits enfants

Exhibition from July 6th  to August 8th, 2015 

'Perfection is the enemy of beauty' is the motto of photographer Matthias Olmeta, who was born in Marseille in 1968. At the age of 16, he discovered his love for cameras; two years later, he moved to Los Angeles to study Visual Arts at the Santa Monica City College. As Olmeta had to apply for a visa regularly, he travelled a lot at that time — a passion that has influenced his work until today. From prostitutes in Athens to patients of a psychiatric clinic in Havana, Olmeta always puts the human being into the center of his imagery. In the following years, Olmeta saw a lot of the world, he lived in London, New York and then in Marseille again. His work is characterized not only by his love of beauty but also by a fascination with the technical development of photography. Olmeta is not an enthusiastic advocate of the digital era — on the contrary. He prefers to use ambrotype, a technique that was developed around 1850. Ambrotype, which is hardly remembered nowadays, is a complex as well as aesthetically remarkable method. A layer of collodium is being exposed on a glass pane. Then, the light glass negative is inverted to a positive image by a black background of paper or velvet. The subject or object in front of the camera needs to stay absolutely still during the shooting. The result is definitely unique and appears as if from another time. Olmeta applies this technique when taking pictures of old people and children, but also the skulls of animals or dried insects. "For me, the silver's vibrations (that we can feel on an ambrotype) with a deep, rich, warm, black background combine uplifting and darker energies", says the artist. Around the same time he became acquainted with ambrotype, Olmeta discovered shamanism, which he claims helped him overcome his fears The children and adolescents he frequently works with form, according to Olmeta, a missing link to nature."

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Noemie I, 2014 70 x 70cm. Piece Unique

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About the Artist

Née en 1968 a Marseille, vit a Marseille

BA in Visuel Arts from Santa Monica City College, L.A.

Specialist: Ambrotype photography, invented by Frederick Scott Archer in 1851


PUG Oslo

Galerie du Jour agnes b Paris

Magasin des Jouets, Arles

Galerie Helene Detaille, Marseille

The Royal Academy of Art London

la Casona, Havana

Galerie Serge Plantureux, Paris

Galerie Omnius, Arles

Festival du Regard, Saint Germain en Laye -Photo London, Somerset House 2015 (PUG)



Collection Agnes B, Paris, France
The Wilson Centre for Photography, London, UK -The Elton John Collection, Atlanta, USA -Collection Freddy Denaes, Paris, France -Collection Gensollen, Marseille, France -Vancouver Art Gallery, Canada

Musee Niepce, Chalon sur Saone, France

Fond Communale de la ville de Marseille, France -Direction generale des Affaires Culturelles,


Direction Regionale des Affaires Culturelles

d'Alsace, France

Les Nouveaux collectionneurs, France

Conseil Generale des Bouches-du-Rhone, France

"Departement des estampes et de la

photographie," France

Bibliotheque Nationale de France

Private collections in Norway, Austria, the Netherlands, Belgium, France & USA

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