The Speerstra Gallery is delighted to welcome Laurent Ballesta's first solo exhibition during Paris Photo week. The gallery's aim is to share with its public an aesthetic interlude, a proposal that differs from the artistic reference line. The naturalist photographer's work as a whole is perfectly in line with the personal values defended by Willem Speerstra: the protection of marine flora and fauna through the promotion of art. The exhibition features a selection of some twenty images from various Gombessa expeditions carried out between 2006 and 2019.
The selection of works was dictated by the desire to live an experience. The photographs explore the relationship between aesthetics, form, movement and the senses. The marine world is revealed through a more abstract prism, and the contemplation of the works is progressive, as we strive to define a reference point, without really achieving it. Fluidity is static, reality is silent, timeless. The dense colors evoke a subtle, fascinating beauty. The combination of elements reveals a fragment of an immensity that is inaccessible to us. The books "Planète Méditerranée" and "700 requins dans la nuit" will be on sale at the gallery and available for signing on the opening day, Saturday November 11, 2023.
Well-known for his underwater photography and recognized by the world of scientific research, Laurent Ballesta is one of a number of avant-garde explorers such as Nicolas Hulot and Commandant Cousteau. Born in Montpellier in 1974, he grew up on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, and discovered his passion for underwater exploration at an early age. In 2008, he co-founded Andromède Océanologie, a company that combines cutting-edge studies, oceanographic research and image enhancement.
At the same time, he set up the Gombessa expeditions, which enabled him to combine exploration with the production of documentary and artistic media as a testimony. Author of thirteen books dedicated to marine photography and initiator of eight Gombessa expeditions to be discovered in documentary form, Laurent Ballesta loves to explore and share with as many people as possible. The marine world offers him a vast territory full of mysteries that he strives to capture in never-before-seen images. On October 11 2023, Laurent Ballesta won the prestigious "Wildlife Photographer of the Year" award for a shot of a horseshoe crab. This species, which has survived for over a hundred million years, is now facing the extinction of its habitat and overfishing. This latest shot will be presented exclusively at the "Alta Odyssea" exhibition.