My inspiring relation with Arles goes back to the year 1962. Disappointed by the conservative approach of art education in the beginner classes at the Academy of Art in Berlin, I left for Arles in admiration of Vincent Van Gogh’s work. I stayed in Arles for nearly a year, working at the Grand Fourchon, a farm just outside Arles, helping out half-days to earn my food and my bed. The other half, I was outside trying to follow the footsteps of Van Gogh, which proved to be a not very successful undertaking. I slept in a small house which belonged to the farm. The roof of this house is part of Van Gogh’s famous painting of the wooden bridge by Arles. I lived a truly inspiring moment and learnt many things I could use much later in my life. Then I left Arles and hitchhiked on to Spain and Morocco for another year. It took me more than twenty-eightyears before finding my way back to Arles. In 1990, my good friend Irene Silvagny, editor in chief of the French Vogue at this time, tells me about Beauduc. I discover a place full of magic and most inspiring. As Irene Silvagny had predicted, Beauduc soon becomes my favourite place on earth to shoot. The following year I fall in love with the Camargue and also with the extraordinary people living there. Their help and inspiration create the feeling from which these pictures were able to emerge.
Thank you Christian, Jean and Zofia, Helene and Nene, Anne and Émilie, Marcel, Philippe and Dominique, Christophe and Marie Sara, Jean-Paul and Françoise, Françoise and Catherine, August and Anna, Jean Guy and Josiane, Manu and Edith, Jean-André and Geneviève, Jean-Luc, Patrick and Thérèse, Chico, Fatima, Deliane and Sylvain, Jean-Claude and Jacky, Helen and Thierry, Jean-Paul, Maja and Stanley, Lucien and Yolande, Nicolas and Nadja, Christophe, Quiquin, Charlotte and Joseph, Marc and Mireille, Fred and Valérie, Emilio and Elizabeth, Jean-Louis, Bik, Choucou, William and Mario, Fatima and Barca.