Born in 1951 in Thann (Alsace,
France) Paul Maurer starts photographing as an autodidact.
He lives and works in Paris, France, since 1974.
His main series cover natural and urban landscapes, architecture,
plants or still lives. Paul Maurer finds his primary inspiration
Alsatian landscapes and natural spaces, where he makes his
first prize-winning shot.
His encounter with French architect Paul Andreu determined
his move from natural to urban landscapes: he pictures the
streets and all that is
happening in the town. His eye first captures general views,
then concentrates on buildings.
He doesn’t forget nature though and goes on a parallel path, from general to detail, in his flower pictures. He captures the beauty and poetry found in the petals or the stems in the waters of the Zen gardens or of the Versailles Park. In his series « Etudes » (referring to Chopin’s world) Paul Maurer lets the outside urban world reflect in the glass and water in the vase.
The recurring elements of the billboards in the oriental urban world inspires Paul Maurer in his work with « Multiples »:« Portrait of a Fig tree » is the first in this series, where he pictures all the drying leaves of a tree, accumulating the pictures one after the other in the same frame to show the tree’s own personality.
Windows, walls, adds on walls, all architectural elements are also part of his inspiration. He feels the urge to picture one same object on different points of view to focus our attention on its origin.
The vision of the Thessaloniki Wall: Text by Serge Renaudie Architect and Urbanist.
« Watch this town ! Look at Thessaloniki, modern and modernist, where the polished signs of past burst with wars, conquests and fires: this town woven by the collision of civilisations, theatre where the hellenist, roman, byzantyne, venitian, turkish, hebrew and greek cultures have left their marks; this town-culture stowed to the sea by the White Tower, from where the wall starts out. It runs and bursts, sneaks in and out through the reconstructed town, climbs up the developed hills; the wall that reveals the memory and ascents the alleys and squares; the simple and modest memory of the right distance to keep between heaven and earth; the memory that is the future of a living town.
Follow the thread of the wall, walk along the intricated paths where the houses have cropped up, the rosted stairs, the collars of gardens and vaults; climb up the covered alleys, breathe the sweatiness of old twisted figtree listening to the rumor of the neibourhood; watch the noises hanging from the surrounding clifts of buildings that listen to the stories that the wall keeps telling, because this wall is their past and present and it knows.
His lense nostalgically misted, the photographer unveils the present, he paces with his eyes the existing, the alive, through the deapth of the memory that he catches soothened, on the edge of his point of view.
Following the wall, he wanders along the town’s backbone, its vitality, its continuity; relieved of the triviality, he releases the daily vibration and restores its contemporaneousness through the chair hanging from the balcony, in beween the antennas and the woven wires, the pipes and barrels of the water tanks, the fences, the shutters, the curtains of the café terraces, to the table that awaits, the landscapes and wite tiles, through the dark window to the blinding whiteness, between the pleats of a car cover, amongst the motobikes that buzz in the humble architectures, filled with the accumulated experiences. The Photographer catches the time that runs through the town that crackles.
Making his point of view slide in the continuity where he knows he’s caught and centered, the wall guides and drives him; something happens and is transmitted, without traps or capture, in the exchange of deapth of field.
When walking and following the track of the wall, the Photographer looks for the town’s eye that he obsessively catches from place to place, step by step.
The wall is the town’s eye.
Paul Maurer, the photographer, captures the towns and the architectures. His images give the strange feeling of a town that, through a game of scopic dialogues, offers itself . »