Cities Drenched with Beauty

BeautifulNow April 29, 2013

jacrot_Tokyo CrossingHere, the asphalt is glistening. Colors are bleeding across these wondrous (somehow not gloomy) scenes—red from traffic lights and yellow of streetlamps. Bending umbrellas strain against the weather, their carrier bent low against the wind. The neon of New York City’s Broadway blurs behind a window dotted with rain. A taxi hides behind a wall of black smoke rising up from the unseen subway, its headlights burning through the haze like a predator on the Serengeti.

(Photo: Christophe Jacrot, “Rain Stars”)

These are the beautiful images that Christophe Jacrot captures. His photographs ooze charisma, encapsulating hurried moments in rain. To look at them gives the viewer a certain sense of relief, a schadenfreudian thrill of watching this rainy, romantic world from the coziness and comfort of better weather.

Jacrot is interested in capturing the beauty of bad weather. His quest for seeing loveliness in rain-soaked cityscapes makes him venture out on cold, blustery nights. Jacrot explains on his website, “In my eyes, there are two main ways of photographing the world: enter their horror (there will be) or sublimate. I chose the latter.”

(Photo: Christophe Jacrot, “She Runs, Paris”)

Specifically, Jacrot chooses to venture out into heavy snow and drizzles, fog and flood. His lens captures romance, streaked with rain drops. His search has even coaxed him out into a snow storm. His series “Blizzard Normand” captures the dreaminess of an oceanside squall. The gray sky, the churning green ocean, the landscape hazy with snowflakes, and a single gull—black against the white of the blizzard—punctuating the scene.

(Photo: Christophe Jacrot, “La Mouette”)

Jacrot lives and works in Paris where he started photographing the rain by accident. Earlier in his career, he was hired to provide photographs for a Paris guidebook. Certainly, sunshine was a must, but the Parisian weather was not cooperating. The rainy scenes he captured were so stirring, that Jacrot had found a well of inspiration. He began traveling the world, punctuating his trips with remarkable photographs.

What better time to see these rain-enhanced images, than in the middle of April showers? Christophe Jacrot’s newest series, “Black and white” will debut in Brussels at the Young Gallery from April 18th through May 11th, 2013. The exhibition is called “Winter in town- New York in Black.”

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