Portrait | Nominee

William Ropp

Nancy / France www.lensculture.com/search/projects?fallback=not-found&q=william+ropp



In this series, William Roop walks a knife-edge of his very own between naturalism and artificiality, between the depiction of humankind in relation to nature and stylisation. In most cases, the people of all generations in Roop’s works seek direct eye-to-eye contact with the viewer. The intense aura of the protagonists exerts a magical attraction that casts a spell over the viewer. The Ethiopians in Roop’s images appear vulnerable and impressively introverted, yet simultaneously radiate strength and self-confidence. The curious placement of people in alien landscapes and vegetation leads to mysterious images that are packed with enigmas.
The balanced compositions, focused placement of highlights, finely nuanced colours and a subtle harmony of form and content lend the photographs a convincing intensity.


William Ropp was born in 1960 and lives in Nancy.

He began his career in the theatre, co-founding the "Théâtre X" company.

In 1988, he took a highly successful series of black and white photographs of human figures reflected in distorting mirrors. Several books followed.

In 1993, he became interested in uncontrolled postures, plunging his subjects into darkness in a studio and 'painting' their outlines with a beam of light, the intrusion of light creating accidents of form.

In 2007, he took a complete break from studio work and produced a powerfully dreamlike series of photographs of children in Africa. The book « Dreamt memories from Africa » followed.

He then became a teacher, running workshops all around the world and elsewhere.

He began working with colour in 2010, revisiting the same themes and taking inspiration from classical paintings.

In 2012 The Musee de la Photography in Belgium and the Maison Européennne de la Photographie in Paris organized jointly a succesful rétrospective exhibition

The book « William Ropp 20 years of Photography » was launched for this occasion.

Today, his works form part of some of the greatest public collections