We no longer present Yann Arthus-Bertrand, famous throughout the world for his pictures seen from the sky. But in his early days, the photographer was interested in the animal world. And it was in Africa that it all began, when in 1979 he moved with his wife Anne to the Massai Mara park in Kenya. For three years, the young scientist will photograph a family of lions every day, the subject of his university thesis. At the same time, he becomes a balloonist and then discovers the Earth seen from the sky. A new look that would turn his life upside down.
At that time, aerial photography was very rare, so I photographed lion territory from the hot air balloon when I took tourists to see the animals. And this is where I discovered the incredible beauty of the Earth’s graphics and the beauty of the world in the air.
Yann Arthus-Bertrand is then interested in the relations between man, animal and Earth and his observations lead him to make the protection of the environment, of this fragile world, the central element of his work. Observe and warn about the drifts of human action on our planet and on biodiversity. Little by little, it is towards the cinema that he is turning to reach as many people as possible. His latest film, Legacy, Our heritage (screened every day during the exhibition in Nice), was presented this year at the Cannes Film Festival, always with the same goal, to show the beauty of our planet to better raise public awareness of the dangers that threaten it: “What I learned, I want to pass it on, and I think that all my work, my exhibitions, my photos and my films are there only for that, to try to carry that. But there are millions of us doing this“.
The exhibition brings together more than 200 photographs retracing his forty-year career and showing the evolution of his work and his environmental concerns. Much of this work can be found at the Musée de la Photographie in Nice. The others in large format are exhibited outdoors, on Place Pierre Gautier and on the promenade du Paillon.
“Legacy – Yann Arthus-Bertrand, a life of photographer-director” – until January 16, 2022 – Musée de la Photographie Charles Nègre, Place Pierre Gautier 06300 Nice – Open every day except Monday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. – Telephone: 04 97 13 42 20.