Anyone can enter the world that Frédéric Fontenoy creates, but only if you dare. With his sharp eye detail, this Paris-based photographer has certainly put an epic twist on erotic storytelling. Through his impeccably styled, yet formidable black and white photography, there’s a strong narrative of desire and the body—the hunter and the hunted. Not your run of the mill pornography, this enigmatic artist gives us a dark room to play where the only limit is our imagination. With light and energy bouncing off the narrow walls, we are ushered into a forbidden temple of sex where multiple games are played with toys, sticks, feathers, and dressing up with Fontenoy hosting us to the greatest show on earth.
The style used by Frederic Fontenoy resembles the 1920’s and appears to pay homage to film noir. His mysterious and dark scenes display a bevy of beautiful and dangerous women being held in contradiction the male character with intense scenes of spanking, humiliation, and discipline. Sexually charged and highly erotic, Fontenoy’s work reveals a surrealistic world where BDSM is the centerpiece and each minute detail is uncovered as you begin to immerse yourself into the picture. Each of these provocative scenarios make anyone wonder—what happened prior to the scene and what will happen next?
Creativity is not any easy gift to acquire–you’re either born with or not. That’s why the photographs by Fontenoy are sheer joy to look at and are definitely crafted to arouse both the mind and the genitals. From the lighting, to the camera angle, to the selection of wardrobe and models, Fontenoy has his hands in every aspect of creating just the right feel and look. In the foreground, the immersive and seductive action looks fresh and new, but according to the artist, the set location rarely changes. He always uses the same small room, which is part of his apartment, in Paris. All of the furnishing and accessories belong to him and are used in everyday life and dinners with friends. When looking for set props, he is inspired to find things that will add texture and feeling to his work. For example, the wallpaper was created by him and serves as an ideal backdrop while the books, tables, and accessories play an integral role in completing the scene and playing a supporting role.
Frederic Fontenoy is methodical about his approach and does waste time taking a bunch of shots. To achieve spectacular looking photos, he employs methods that allow him to work at a slower pace. In fact, it can take up to four hours for him to get the shot that satisfies him. The sizing of his work is also crucial. In order to give the viewer a sense of time and dynamism, he prefers to use an adaptable, yet dying art form of the 4×5 format camera. This larger format can create vertical images which can easily be converted into diptychs or trptychs. By strategically stitching his images together, he offers a dynamic timeline similar to movie film strips.
Not matter how you look at his art, every one piece is meant to pull you in a mesmerizing direction. Almost as if he is inviting us to actively and privately participate—as the women are free to expose their bodies, the fully clothed Fontenoy exposes his heart. Ah, if only we could truly live this way. For more information about Frédéric Fontenoy, please visit his website here.