The Free Years and other photographs...
Ray Charles, Thelonious Monk, Charles Mingus... first it is with jazz that Philippe gives us striking photographs of musicians in action. Especially the jazz of the great Free maelstrom of the 1960s and 1970s with Don Cherry, Archie Shepp, Albert Ayler, and many others.
In a spare style using grainy black and white, the strength of Philippe Gras’s photographic art is its ability to suggest the music’s sound through a subtle play of light, whether it be ambient light or a back-lit spotlight.
His art also worked wonders with progressive rock, American minimalist music and avant-garde theater and dance. He collaborated with the Festival d’Automne, Jazz Hot, Jazz Magazine, Actuel, l’Art Vivant.
“He was so special!” exclaimed Robert Wilson when he learned of his death.