Jacques Cochin

by Jay Koka

In 2018 I exhibited my work for the first time at the RetroMobile Show in Paris France. Then not yet an ArtistAuto member, I was, by and large, impressed with the work on display...especially member works.

I've often said that I don't like artwork that is essentially "pictures of cars". Likewise my thoughts on automotive themed photography tend in the same direction. The focus of this publication is not photography but Cochin's work is irresistable in its conception and in quality of execution.

I was initially drawn to Jacques Cochin's exhibit stand because... frankly... I didn't know what I was looking at. The work on display was rich simultaeneously in visual quality and visual mystery. My inaugeration into Cochin's work was what appeared to be a vey large bag that was in fact, a covered race car paired with a "covered" women in it's "Alter Ego" diptych piece...

Cochin was born in Paris into an old, well-known Parisian family. He learned photography at school as a hobby and his initial professional work was as a financial analyst in the commodities markets in Paris. He turned to professional photograpy as a reporter in 1980 with the ELF company for Formula 1, Harper’s Bazaar for fashion and Sygma Agency for reports including 3 months in Afghanistan with fighters against the Russians. The 80's decade also saw fashion work with major designers ( Y.S.L. – Scherrer , Lanvin …) reports on social subjects ( Poland, USA, South Africa…) for magazines and as an Image Bank photographer (New-York): producing illustrative photography.

He stopped commercial and professional photography in the 90's and began his “artist” phase. He uses photography as a medium to emphasize his “creation standpoints” about automobiles and fashion and other themes through diptychs. During this period he lives six months a year in his New York studio where he also exhibits his work.

He became a member of ArtistAuto in 2000, vice-president in 2002 and the group's president 2003 through 2007.

His work has been extensively published: “Formule 1 mais Couture”, Grand Prix of books at IFA in 1998, Portfolio , Automobile Year N° 51, Modus ex Machina, portfolio, Lampsaque Editor in 2003 and « Alter Ego » in 2007.

"As an artist, I use photography because I know quite well this medium, but this is straight photography: no cuts when enlarging, no Photoshop. I show it as it was when I decide to stop time." says Cochin, "Details allow each part of diptych to live on his own, respected, without predominance, a true dialogue in shrewd and with established facts of interactions. Details reveal strongly the whole with a real and active act of mind (participation) from the viewer. Detail permits also to see differently a reality too much (well) known."

Cochin continues "But perhaps the essential part of a diptych is the gap between the two parts: hidden from our view, it mixes reality and truth like a visual haiku."

He is currently working in Paris as he says "without any order" on a theme found in 1974...a book will be published around 2023.

Contact Cochin at: info@cochin-artist.com     www.cochin-artist.com