Existential inquiries like “What is the meaning of life?” are thought-provoking questions that are difficult to answer. However, photographer Gilbert Garcin comically alludes to answering such philosophical curiosities through his strangely amusing imagery.
The France-based octogenarian began his career in photography after retiring from managing a lamp factory at 65 years of age. Joining the game that late gave him a deep insight into life. It’s as if he could finally reflect and comment on it through his art. His perplexing compilation of work employs surreal landscapes to surround his average-looking subjects (who are often the photographer himself and his wife).
Many of Garcin’s images feature lines, geometric shapes, and trapped characters. He appears to have serious messages and interpretations of human existence, but keeps his work lighthearted with a witty sense of humor and visual puns. His comic execution partnered with the simplicity of the characters, in terms of their attire, and the choice to shoot in black and white work in unison to depict the everyday man getting by. Garcin’s style is reminiscent of classic silent era films like those of Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton, but with a mix of surrealism.