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By lifting our gaze toward high horizons, we blissfully ignore what happens at ground level-an action which might account for a weakness of our conscience. However, a few beings happen to check out their feet and in their peculiar way make the most of detritus encumbering our sidewalks.

In this instance, it is a photographer, François Pohu-Lefèvre, who has attempted in the last three years to extract honey out of the junk uncivil urbanites leave behind.

Baudelaire compared the modern artist to a ragman finding his happiness in the garbage of the large city, in a long-drawn-out metaphor François applies literally: cigarette butts, trampled papers, used preservatives, everything and anything is used to foster his project.

He lays down one lone condition: these objects must fit in his palm. From then on, his rehabilitation process for these disgraced artifacts may begin.

François photographs an object as others would a jewel, never altering its shape and working on it with the argentic precision of a chemist. He then proceeds to scan the negative in high definition, and touches it up on his screen, providing for a considerable enlargement. He finally mounts the photograph in between aluminum and Plexiglas as the slick last touch of what mounts out into an astonishing piece of art.

In the end, one can only admire the unusual beauty resulting from these successive transformations. But it does not happen without a certain amount of perplexity, and it's the best proof of the originality of his talent.

Jacques Lucchesi

Art Critic and Journalist at the Côté Art Magazine

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