March 12th, 2011: The day after a tsunami struck the northeast coast of Japan, surfers gather on the beach of Half Moon Bay in California, waiting for the delayed eastbound wave, referred as “The Surge”. Carine Magescas, camera in hand, shoots the scene. The surfers become her muses, merging with the swell of the ocean, nearly indiscernible. “I find them elegant—they inspire me. The way they move, it’s a little like a rock star on stage,” she says.
This image is the first of “The Surge” series, a set of 17 photos exhibited at the Emmanuel Fremin Gallery in New York City. Magescas is attracted to the beaches for their untamed qualities, their indistinct features—it’s the same with her photography. From the Northern California coast to Camargue in Southern France, the French photographer has made large expanses of sand her terrain, the canvas for her expression. This is what she captures fragments of it in “The Surge.”
Carine Magescas implies more than imposes on her subjects—shadows, silhouettes, the sudden contour of a woman appearing in a flag twisted by the wind. The rest is left to imagination, thanks to wide stretches of ‘negative’ space. “I work a lot in over-exposure,” says Magescas. “I like very serene, minimal compositions that allow your thoughts to wander.”
Before having her work exhibited, Carine Magescas published her photographs on 2 Filles 2 Villes, which she launched in 2010 with a friend who still lives in Paris. The Frenchwoman then photographed San Francisco and Northern California where she lived for 15 years before moving to New York last year. “As a way to stay in touch through a photographic dialog,” she explains.
Since then, things went very fast for Magescas who also co-founded AngelPad, a start-up accelerator, which she runs with her husband, Thomas Korte. First scouted by the gallery owner Emmanuel Fremin, she’s already shown her work at New York AAF and Art Hamptons, as well as at Christie’s Multiplied and AAF Battersea in London. Her photographs will also be on display at Art Southampton, from July 9 to 13.