Born in 1934 in Arles, lives and works in France.
Forced to leave secondary school before completing his baccalauréat, Lucien Clergue began taking photographs on the side while he was working in a factory. A meeting with Picasso at the age of eighteen was a crucial moment which led to his declaring himself an ‘artist-photographer’ a few years later. Today he continues to work in black and white and colour, but in the old pre-digital way: long live film!His main themes are life, death, the four elements, female nudes—especially combined with waves—dead bulls and decaying carcasses, the mysteries of the Camargue, sand, water, street performers and gypsies, famous toreadors, Picasso, Cocteau and Dalì. In the 1960s he also turned to film, won the Louis Lumière prize for Drame du taureau (‘Tragedy of the Bull’) and was nominated for the 1968 Cannes Festival and the Oscars.In recent years he has experimented with colour images of bullfights and female nudes overlaid with museum paintings.He has published 75 books. With his friends Michel Tournier and Max Rouquette he founded the Rencontres d’Arles festival, which led to the founding of the National School of Photography in Arles. Together he and Rouquette have assembled a collection of 4500 photographic works for the Musée Réattu.