Gilbert Garcin

“We accumulate a lot of questions and thoughts in the course of a lifetime. I find that photography is an absolutely fabulous way to share these questions and points of views with others. This is the principal and most profound reason I take photographs. I am not out to demonstrate something. My sole motivation stems from the need I feel – that we all feel, to varying degrees – to communicate with the world around us.” — Gilbert Garcin (Oudiz, 2005)

The French photographer Gilbert Garcin uses photomontage to remarkable effect.  His surreal, black and white images prompt the viewer to think about time, solitude and the weight of human existence (Lark, 2016).

Garcin’s images are created without the use of Photoshop (or any other similar software).  He starts first with a self portrait – his “Mr Everybody” character – which he prints and painstakingly cuts out.  He then places the figure in absurd situations within a surreal miniature landscape.  The landscapes are created in his studio using all sorts of materials, such as general household debris and bags of sand from the local beach.  The resulting photographs look amazing, and are made all the more interesting for their humorous titles.

I think what I like the most about Garcin’s photographs is that they are deceptively simple.  In Garcin’s own words, “It’s a little naïve as systems go; people always think I use all sorts of sophisticated technology. Not at all. It’s so simple that no one does it, or almost no one. It doesn’t appear “serious”, I suppose” (Oudiz, 2005).


Lark, J. (2016) Gilbert Garcin [online]. Available at: Accessed on 09/09/2016.

Oudiz, B. (2005). Meeting with Gilbert Garcin [online]. Available at: Accessed on: 09/09/2016.