When you look at Michel Nguie’s photography, you feel a lot of things. His eye captures the dirty, not so beautiful sides of life. I was greatly moved by Michel’s work because he presents what most of us don’t normally choose to see. He shoves it down your throat and you have no choice but to face the reality. Choosing pictures among all of his work was a very hard thing to do. I felt like any selection I would make wouldn’t reflect his work perfectly because you have to look at his photos as a whole to really understand his universe.
I decided to choose a theme because I simply could not make up my mind. I went for portraits and people.
Can you introduce yourself briefly?
I was born in Bordeaux, France. I am a light craftsman (photography means writing with light) which is a self-learning craft in my case and I am represented by Signatures, a photography agency based in Paris.
You live in France. What impact does it have on your work?
I live in the north of France in the town of Roubaix. It looks like all cities in Europe, just as all individuals have eyes, a mouth… And just as every individual, it’s a unique city that I learn to know.
How would you describe your work and aesthetics?
The aesthetic level of my work is predominantly urban because this is where I evolve most of the time, in our concrete jungles. My work is very actual, because I am rooted in my time. Even if I try to subtract it, to disclose it or to capture it, it is the particle of eternity.
There is something very raw in your photos. What message do you wish to communicate through these pictures?
That I witness the reality of things. Things as they are, even if in the end I cannot share it the way that I see it.
I collect moments of life.
“C’est comme un immense puzzle dont vous n’auriez pas l’image globale. Toutes les pièces paraissent alors dispersées, sans lien les unes avec les autres, inutiles… Mais quand vous avez l’ image globale, les pièces prennent sens, s’ajustent naturellement les unes aux autres et tout prend forme et vie. Mais celui qui a l’image globale du but de nos existences, ce n’est pas moi, ce n’est pas vous, c’est Dieu.” Un cheveu sur le coeur – Jean Barthaburu
I believe God wants to use us to transform the world, but first, each of us must engage personally with him.
What inspires you the most in photography?
What inspires me is the eternity of the moment.
I live photography in the moment and I try to perceive what is real, what is eternal, even if sometimes there is an illusion games or pretenses… There is nothing stranger than the mundane.
What is your best photographic memory so far?
Could be one of my very first shots made on film, like this one.
Why did you choose analog photography? What do you like about it?
The choice is mainly for the aesthetic quality that film gives.
Who would be the model of your dreams?
Honestly, I don’t know… And I’ll tell you a secret: I don’t have a dream.
What could we wish you for the future?
That I don’t go out of my way; not even a step to the left or a step to the right.