Born in Aix-en-Provence in 1973, Gilles spends his childhood surrounded by nature in the open air of the French Alps until the age of 15. Thereafter, he follows his father to Florida. Separated from his home, he finds comfort and balance studying painting, drawing, sculpture and photography at his new school, Trinity Preparatory School of Florida. Upon graduating, he wants to pursue art studies but he follows his parents’ advice and goes on to study Business Administration at Loyola University of Chicago, while taking art history and fine art classes on the side. While at Loyola, Gilles becomes convinced that his passion and future lies within the art world.
In 1997, Gilles returns to France to study at the Université Panthéon-Sorbonne in Paris, where he obtains a maitrise (master’s degree) in Art History and Archaeology with a mention “très bien” (summa cum laude). He then joins the British auction house Christie’s as a full-time Specialist in Japanese Art. The London experience is incredibly rich, bringing him closer to a remarkable quantity of exceptional works of art. This allows him a broader study and enriching exchange with other specialists and scholars in various areas. This is also where he meets Jana, a specialist in prints, who will later become his wife. Together, they decide to return to the U.S. in 2001 to work in the family business, the trade of Asian antiques.
His journey is interrupted by a near-fatal car accident, which puts Gilles in a hospital bed for several weeks with multiple pelvic fractures. The extreme fragility of his existence changes the vision he has of the world; his eye embraces reality in a different way. To recover his doctor prescribes daily walks, and it is during these difficult walks in the heart of New Orleans, that taking pictures becomes his absolute passion. Through photography, he seeks to find peace and draw a transcendental portrait of the world that surrounds him. Through printmaking, he transforms the images into tactile works on paper, mixing instinct and technique. For the past fifteen years, he has been exploring all manner of materials and techniques of historical photographic processes, with a particular fondness for glass negatives, photogravure and platinum printing. A temporal dimension is embodied in his prints, requiring a generous patience to deal with the chemistry and papers he uses.
At the heart of Gilles Lorin’s works, the visible shares presence with a palpable invisible. Content and aesthetic quality merge to form a whole, serving a subtle and universal spirituality.