Misia-O' wins Salon des Beaux Arts Jury Prize and opens exhibition at les Rencontres d'Arles
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Misia-O' wins Salon des Beaux Arts Jury Prize and opens exhibition at les Rencontres d'Arles
Mineral Rebirth by Misia-O' © 2021.

by Lee Sharrock

ARLES.- After being awarded the prestigious Prix du Jury by the Salon des Beaux Arts for ‘Different Shades of Yellow’, the critically acclaimed photographer will unveil ‘Different Shades of White’ photographic series at Arles

Misia-O’ will be exhibiting a new series of photographs titled ‘Different Shades Of White’ at the prestigious les Rencontres d’Arles between 6 July to 25 September 2021.

‘Different Shades of White’ is the latest in Misia-O’s celebrated photographic series, following the critically-acclaimed ‘Different Shades of Yellow’, which was recently awarded the Prix du Jury (Jury Prize) at the Salon des Beaux Arts (SNBA) in Paris.

Beginning with ‘Different Shades of Black’, followed by Yellow and White, the next series will explore different shades of red. Misia-O’s work focuses on using light to show the colour variations of the single colour and non-colour we attribute to skins so wrongly and so simplistically.

‘Different Shades of White’ is the 3rd suite of photographs in a series in which the artist explores identity and challenges the stereotypes and perceptions relating to different skin tones, seeking a global vision of identity and unification through her photography. Misia-O’ explores the essence of our being through the ‘Different Shades’ series, inspired by humanist philosophy and an interest in the incredible architecture of our genes. Misia-O’ explains: “It’s much more than our skin colour that defines us, it’s our sacred geometry’.

Misia-O’ says of her work: “It’s really challenging stereotypes, but not in a political way, rather in an aesthetic, anthropological and humanist way, and by finding parallels in nature. Ultimately, race does not exist in science, and colours are an actual interpretation of our retinas caused by light frequencies. I am challenging our labelling of 'skin colours" by also showing colours and non-colours are made of many shades and light frequencies. We accept diversity of nature, but not diversity of skin colour, and I wanted to challenge these prejudices and normalize what makes us human – gender, skin colour. It’s all about the exploration of light – that led me to study quantum physics, because I’m looking at light refraction and frequencies (ADD).”

For the ‘Different Shades of White’ series which will be exhibited at les Rencontres d’Arles, Misia-O’ worked a lot with the hair of the model and the human form that can be found in a shell, with an exploration of bronze and silver leading her to the technique.

Misia-O’ exhibition ‘Different Shades of Yellow’ prints at the Salon des Beaux Arts, which was created in 1861 by an association of independent artists including iconic names such as; Rodin, Delacroix, Manet and Ingres. In 1891, Puvis de Chavannes, Rodin and Carolus-Duran relocated the "Salon Des Beaux Arts" - which was then held in the luxury headquarters belonging to the Marquis d' Hertford, Boulevard Des Italiens - to the Champ De Mars.

The Salon Des Beaux Arts President Michel King commented on the awarding of the coveted Jury Prize to Misia-O’: “Misia-O’ uses her darkroom to explore the mysterious colours of the world. For this artist, the obscure mother-light conceals all the symbols.”

"Misia-O' utilise sa chambre noire pour explorer les mystérieuses couleurs du monde. Pour cette artiste, l'obscure mère-lumière recèle tous les symboles." Michel King, Président de la SNBA et grand POM (Peintre Officiel de la Marine)

Misia-O’ will exhibit ‘Different Shades of White’ at les Rencontres d’Arles 2021, a great accolade for any photographer, since Arles is not only recognised globally as the capital of photography in Europe, but is also the official city of culture in France with the official opening of the Fondation Luma this June. Misia-O’s 2017 series ‘Trans-it-I-on’ was exhibited in 2018 in Arles at ‘Les Voies Off’, where the artist was a finalist. The ‘Trans-it-I-on’ series celebrated the beauty of Transgender men and women, their transitions and becomings.

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