Jean-Christian Rostagni is a French photographer who has now lived half of his 40 years of photography in the American south, becoming therefore somewhat of a hybrid. The influence of Cartier-Bresson and Jacques Henri Lartigue, is clearly perceptible in his work, but so too are Weston and Adams because of the mark left by Jean-Christian’s mentor, Denis Brihat, Weston’s spiritual heir. This complex mix makes for photographs where composition and the notion of instantaneity are paramount, and are served by an immaculate technique that does not suffer compromises when it comes to printing.
Contrast is also a crucial element in Jean-Christian Rostagni’s work. His photographs' dynamism come from a rather high contrast that is kept under tight control. Whether in France or here, Jean-Christian Rostagni has always worked on politics, and his photographs also contrast politically with the mood still prevalent in the American south, if not in America as a whole. His series Life on Mars, started during the Bush era, and looks at America from a wondering European point of view. It is only logical then that the Rodrigo Dorfman full feature documentary film on Jean-Christian Rostagni is titled Monsieur Contraste.
Jean-Christian Rostagni attended two schools of photography in France, and has been published broadly, including by art publishers and Le Monde. Here he reinforced his technical palette with American photographic discoveries, deepening his roots in silver photography while being totally at ease in digital printing as well. He was a contributor for over ten years with Photo Technique magazine, has been sponsored by many, including Leica and has been promoted by Hasselblad. His photograph Of, By, For, that you may can see on our website and in our print collection, was presented to the White House by the Ambassador of France, M. François Delattre.
Jean-Christian works with Leica, Hasselblad and Noblex cameras, all chosen because they give his photographs the best optical quality, while allowing the capture of elusive moments rich in emotional intensity. He processes his films and prints himself, b&w and color, with his own chemistry in b&w. He also prints digitally on his state of the art 42” inkjet printer.