EN
ANN RAY
25 Apr 2019 - 12 Jul 2019

ANN RAY

GRAVITAS Lee Alexander McQueen by Ann Ray

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Galerie de la Béraudière is pleased to present, for the first time in Belgium, the work of French photographer Ann Ray with a selection of her pictures devoted to the fashion designer and artist Lee Alexander McQueen, which were first shown to the public during the 2018 edition of the Rencontres d’Arles. 

After studying at the École des Ponts & Chaussées in Paris, Ann Ray, previously called Anne Deniau, gave up her career as an engineer to devote herself to photography in the 1990s – first in Tokyo, where she was living, and then in London. She studied at Central Saint Martins in London before working for clients such as Cartier, Givenchy and The Times. It is during her London years that she forged an unbreakable relationship with Lee Alexander McQueen, whom she had previously met in Paris and Tokyo. This would be the start of an intense friendship and an artistic collaboration that was as prolific as it was unique: he gave her carte blanche on the basis of a simple agreement between friends. From 1997 until the designer’s tragic end in 2010, Ann Ray’s caring gaze tried to capture the spirit of the man and the essence of his work, in many portraits, at work in the studio, and during shows – snapshots of truth that reveal McQueen’s creativity. Ann Ray’s archives include more than 35,000 pictures!

Ann Ray first revealed part of her work to the public during the exhibition Les Inachevés: Lee McQueen, at the 2018 edition of the Rencontres d’Arles, drawing a sincere and intimate portrait of this highly sensitive rebel gifted with a true vision and an overflowing imagination. 

Galerie de la Béraudière will present a new selection of these pictures that highlight the designer’s obsessions. The photographer’s eye reveals with great humanity McQueen’s world, somewhere between illusion and reality. With great talent, Ann Ray captures the silence and immobility perceptible in the most hectic moments: ‘… the semblance of silence and the almost immobile, to transmit fragments of anything as long as they are human, sincere and genuine, to picture the working drawing, the almost, the not-yet, the invisible, the unexpected, the beauty, the grotesque and the terrible, the fragile, the cracked, the marvelled, the terrified and unfinished, to show the dark side of the moon, the flickering splendour of souls and the stubborn folly of the damaged works that unsettle and stand up to time’ – A.R. 

Overflowing with projects, Ann Ray is also presenting an exhibition in Venice of portraits of artists, the result of 15 years of work: Blind Faith will run at the Ca’ Pesaro gallery from April until July 2019. For more than ten years she has collaborated with many choreographers, dancers and opera singers for the Metropolitan Opera of New York and the Opéra de Paris. 

Film-making and writing are also among her tools of expression. She is currently working on the realization of a creative documentary and is preparing the publication of a collection of poems and images, as well as her first novel. In short, an artist worth keeping an eye on, and especially worth discovering from 24 April onwards at Galerie de la Béraudière.