Away from Saint Barth and Seychelles where he usually works, Florent Gay aka Chillinmaster chose to come and show his photography work in Guéthary, his childhood village. This multi luxury brand creative director will exhibit « Douceur salée » (Salted Sweetness) from July, 1st, 2017 at Providence.
Good morning Florent, could you introduce us to your artistic character, the « Chillinmaster »?
My colleagues gave me this nickname when I was working in a luxury hotel in Seychelles. I had to organise activities for the celebrities who were staying there, and I use to spend a lot of time with them. So, they thought I was never working! That is why they called me « Chillinmaster », and I use it as my business name today.
I have been a freelance creative director for luxury brands and hotel businesses for two years. My job is to restore brand souls cause they often suffer from their superficial aspects. I use my experience and my artistic sense to make brands innovate. It is a long run process, but very exciting.
In your pictures, we find very colorful landscapes and some more « nordic » filters at the same time. It is an oxymoron, just like your exhibition title « Douceur Salée » (Salted Sweetness). Is that one of your characteristic?
I chose this title because it corresponds to the simple and pure dimension of my work. In my opinion, simplicity is the must of luxury. I always take my pictures with the same camera – a Sony Alpha 7S – and my models never strike a pose. Each picture represents a moment in life. My work is spontaneous and intimate: I mainly get inspired from my travels and my relatives.
Parlementia beach, the Rhune, surfboards… We find a lot of pictures taken in the Bask Country on your Instagram account: tell us how are you linked to this place? And to Guéthary particularly?
This is where I spent my childhood. When I come back from my business trips to Saint Barth and Seychelles, this is where I meet with my family and friends. Guéthary is my favorite village, where I feel the more comfortable. I appreciate its authenticity and its atmosphere. Everybody knows each other! That is why I chose Providence Guéthary to show my work. Providence celebrates simplicity, and it is very hard to find those kind of places nowadays.