Didier Massard (born 1953, Paris, France) is a magician of invention within the genre of fabricated photographs. He was born and raised in Paris where he received his Baccalaureate degree in art and archaeology from the University of Paris in 1975. For twenty-five years he executed commercial work as a still photographer for clients in the world of fashion and cosmetics, photographing for labels including Chanel, Hermes, and many others. He launched his artistic career with the completion of his series Imaginary Journeys, a project that took him over ten years to complete.
Now working exclusively on personal projects, he conceives of his works from the recesses of his imagination while drawing from our collective romantic and touristic notions of nationality and place. He has created many exotic locales within his studio, evoking the lands of Ireland, China, India, Holland, and the cliffs of Normandy. Massard works for long periods on each of these tableaux, and ruminates that “each image is the completion of an inner imaginary journey.” Roberta Smith wrote of his work in The New York Times, stating “color and space combine with fastidious detail to create a sense of illusion and artifice that is more usual to painting, Magic Realist painting in particular…one’s willingness to suspend disbelief is a measure of Massard’s skill.”
Massard works slowly, completing only two or three images a year. Following his first series, he created “Artificial Paradise” between 1999 and 2003, and since then, he has been involved in the evolution of “Territories” which includes images of animals and mysterious landscapes. His second monograph entitled “Artifices” was published in 2007.