Despite a promising scientific career, Jean-Michel Berts chose a different path—to become a photographer. With his first Rolleiflex, he became sensitive to the effects of light. Since the eighties he has worked as a still life photographer for several well-known cosmetics and perfume brands. While involved in this field, he pursued a body of work with a more personal focus: to portray the essence of cities, reminding one of the grandeur of civilizations. As Berts explains, "Architectural construction is the cultural reflection of a civilization." The abstraction of characters makes it possible to move human construction forward and thus reanimate its timelessness. From Paris to New York, and Venice to Tokyo, these sublimated cities take on a poetic, ethereal and dreamlike value through his eyes.
The richness of Jean-Michel Berts photographs also comes from his technique. Using the Zone System of Ansel Adams, and with an exposure time between nine seconds and ten minutes, this method of overexposing negatives and under-developing them allows a stronger density, enhancing the contrast in black and white.
2012 BLIN plus BLIN, Montfort l’Amaury, France
Envie d’Art, Paris, France
2011 City Portrait, Envie d’Art, London, UK
City Portrait, Young Gallery, Knokke, Belgium
Portrait de Villes Boutiques, Jaquet Droz, Paris, France
New New York, Gallery Samagra, Paris, France
2010 Gallery 21, Tokyo, Japan
2008 Light of Cities, Sous Les Etoiles Gallery, New York, NY
Outdoor Exhibition, Paris-Bercy, France
2007 Bibliothèque Historique de la Ville de Paris, France
2006 Embassy of France, Berlin, Germany
Moscow, Exposition de l’Art et de l’Artisanat Français
Embassy of France, Beirut, Lebanon
2005 Camerawork, Hamburg, Germany