Dominique Issermann works above all in fashion and advertising. She has shot campaigns, stills and films, for renowned designers including Sonia Rykiel, Christian Dior, Nina Ricci, Guess, Lancôme, La Perla, Victoria's Secret, Tiffany, Chanel and many others.
Celebrated for her portraits, she is the photographer of film stars such Catherine Deneuve, Gérard Depardieu, Isabelle Adjani, Marion Cotillard, Léa Seydoux and proeminent artists such as Marguerite Duras, Balthus, Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen for who she shot many videoclips.
She Contributes to international fashion magazines such as Vogue, Elle, The NYT Magazine and many others renowned titles.
She received the equivalent of an Oscar for her fashion photography at the 1988 British Fashion Awards. In January 2007, she was promoted to the rank of Officer of France's Order of Arts and Letter and in March 2012, named to the National Order of Merit by French Minister of Culture Frédéric Mitterrand.
© Erwan Fichou pour Libération 2012
Dominique Issermann in the eyes of her contemporaries..
"In this way, Dominique Issermann may well have created the finest portraits, by making paleness into an emotional system, by allowing the rich nervous tissue to flow in, as the Renaissance painters or the anatomists did, by purifying every centimeter of bare skin."
"Her photography touches me! She's a photographer with a world, a universe of her own, who's capable of doing a fashion shoot or a photo essay. Her work is very well rounded; she has an incredible world in black and white, very soft, very sensitive, very subtle, vey discreet. She's probably one of the finest portraitists today and one of the most respected photographers. She makes photos the way she wants, she's very free and that's quite rare. She photographs beauty in the noble sense of the term. Dominique Issermann is a great camerawoman, a great photographer."
"As closed spaces haunted by an existential void, Dominique Issermann's compositions, are veritable balancing acts around the female body seen as a hieroglyph. Few photographers manage in fact manage to break through the decorative pure and simple, while subjecting the equation of the bodies in space to a disturbing tension. Recognizable like a code name, Issermann's images are characteristic of an admirable stylistic obstinacy. Her technique, in total keeping with herself and thus perfectly original, is the product of her own formal laws. It is interesting, and rather amusing, moreover, to observe how Issermann has manages, through a style whose alchemy is known to her alone, to take on a multitude of advertising commissions without ever compromising her art but, on the contrary, practically cannibalising her clients."
"An image by Dominique Issermann is composed like a Weston."
"It's a gaze searching for refinement, on the lookout for perfection, with the delicate patience of someone who knows how to wait for the miraculous moment when motionless things, transient beings and the light which unites them all come together... People will, I hope, partake of the reinvigorating gaze Dominique Issermann fixes on beauty in its pure state."
"This is Laetitia Casta captured in a calligraphy of the flesh... The result reflects a unique experience, beyond the intimate, sometimes recalling the nudes of Weston or Man Ray but without any quotation disturbing the pure sensation, the drawing which is taking shape in space. It is neither the academic nude of the model or the nude as object. "These are moments which correspond and contrast." A darkroom of tactile echoes, an eroticism which becomes all the more powerful in contact with the austerity of the lines. The beauty which can be read, like an imprint in suspension, a mirage."
"Photography is the fix that turns time into space. It's very fast, but it will endure, without a limit, without a boundary. We're on another planet, this one here, under the rule of freedom.
Dominique Issermann seems to recognize only two laws: the utter privacy of the interior, the emptiness beyond. Human life is an astounding luxury, but precarious and fragile, a vibration that is relentlessly threatened. We cannot avoid the sense of this flimsy abundance. The photographs, their contradictions, compel us. White turns black, black white. Our comforts are in danger, the desert speaks. Nothing is fixed, Everything hurtles from itself toward an endless dispersal.
It's 1977, the Twin Towers burn behind a fog, but look carefully at these huge tracks in the foreground, left by ghostly bulldozers.
And then again (another masterpiece), what about this young woman in the black hat and heavy necklace, standing with her back to us on a motorboat in the Guidecca Canal in Venice? She has simply appeared. Is it for an appointment? Yes: with nothing. Life itself is this splendid appointment with nothing."
Leonard Cohen from french text by Philippe Sollers