Complex Made Simple

Five minutes: Behind the wheel with photographer Renaud Marion

Currently living and working in Paris, Renaud Marion is a 41-year-old photographer, born in the French Alps. MB&F M.A.D.Gallery is featuring his new photographic exhibition at its Dubai outpost titled ‘Air Drive’.

Inspired by his idea of the future when he was a young boy, Renaud Marion photographed classic and vintage cars – such as the Aston Martin DB5, Porsche 356, Chevrolet El Camino and Jaguar XK120 – before superimposing the shots against backdrops that reflect a retro era.

Then, looking into the future, Marion in a visionary move removed the wheels from the cars to create a floating mode of transportation. The artist would like to drive a flying car before he dies, while the child in him hopes that the technology from science fiction stories will one day become reality.

We catch up with the artist to talk inspiration, photography and art:

Can you tell us more about yourself and your career?

I began photography in the ’90s, when I was photographing my graffiti art on the streets to keep track and create a portfolio. Today, I am a professional photographer working mainly for advertising and communication agencies. And next to that, I created Air Drive – a retro futuristic photo collection – parallel to my work with agencies.

You work on a lot of projects; how do you differentiate your creative and commercial work?

My commercial and personal work is very connected. Often, my clients want to work with me because they like my personal work and they want to incorporate my style into their own projects. My commercial orders help me develop new techniques that I can then use for my personal projects, which also supplement the income to pursue and develop my personal projects. It’s a balance for me; I enjoy both kinds of work and I need both.

What was your initial inspiration for Air Drive?

As a child, I imagined the new millennium with flying cars, spaceships, parallel worlds, extra-terrestrials living with us on earth, and time travel. We would have all been dressed up in space outfits and equipped with laser pistols. These are the dreams of a normal child, I think…I hope.

Flying cars are fast becoming a reality and I just hope they look as good as the ones in my art.

What have been the main challenges you faced in your transition from street art to photography? 

It was not really challenging. I started with photographing my graffiti so it was easy to begin photographing the streets, architecture and people…

Do you think big industry players are giving young photographers a chance to shine?

The big players in the industry were once young photographers, so I think there is a place for everyone.

‘Air Drive’ will run until September 10 at MB&F M.A.D.Gallery in Alserkal Avenue, Dubai.