Images made by others
Napoléon as an old lady
Solidarity between a boss and a worker
I met Philippe Leroux and his Polaroids in Rennes. Then, I was writing articles about photography for Zef, a free cultural magazine, and this man was showing a part of his 143 Polaroids in an enlarged version. Many of them were shot behind frosted glass at a bus stop. They all dated back from the 80s. Each picture had a title. The words and the images put together delighted me.
Philippe Leroux also talked to me about the other creations and particularly, the one that seemed the most important one: “Earth is from artificial origin” (“la Terre est d’origine artificielle.”) In this manuscript, he shows that the coastal shapes of the planet are organized between them figuratively and mathematically, so that it can’t be an accident. I liked meeting such a man, with a new and clear-sighted vision of the world. I met him again later and bought many various things: several comics, a few enlargements of his Polaroids, several manuscripts, his songs on tapes… I became a collector of his art.
He wrote and essay in 2018 entitled “Small metaphysical dissection for people who are in a rush: what is the passing of time?” (Petite dissection métaphysique à l’intention des gens pressés: Qu’est-ce que le temps qui passe?”). He contacted me again to tell me about it after several years without news from each other.
He’s now working on a new book: “What is God? A sensible eulogy of pantheism.” (Qu’est-ce que Dieu? Eloge raisonné du panthéisme.”)
I would love for more people to know his work.
Blonde woman in a fur coat with a handbag
Man with a suit and a cap
Young man with an information board
Caring for her little one
All in leather, only one heel
Large polite man at the end of the bench
He signed his paintings B. Atmane. I don’t know if it was on purpose, for Batman.
He was in charge of the laundromat I used to go to in Ménilmontant. A door at the back of the place led to his art studio. I never went in. We would often talk, we even drank coffee together once. I can’t remember how I found out about his paintings (he must have exhibited them at the laundromat), however, I loved his judoka. He didn’t want to sell it. I offered him to take a picture of his work to create a book, since he was looking for a place to show his work. That’s the reason why I can still see his judoka and some of the portraits he painted with his fingers.
When I was writing my book and creating this website, I wanted to see Atmane again to know how he was doing, to know where he was with his work and, as I was not able to find him at his workplace twice, I decided to call the phone number available. The laundromat manager told me the bad news: Atman died of a CVA in 2010 (3 years after I left the area). He didn’t have family. It seems that, young women, his “cousins” who often went to see him emptied his art studio.
So I didn’t ask Atmane for the permission to show his judoka and these other 3 portraits. I want others to be able to admire them. If someone owns one of these paintings without knowing who the author is, now you know.