Gilles Berquet: Mïrka and the bug

Without title, 2000.
© Gilles Berquet

The pictures of Gilles Berquet are a trip into the obscure world of the eroticism, without forgetting sadomasochism, bondage, pissing, strange machines and perversions. In general, I do like all of them and I do not have any kind of prejudice or refusal towards porn pictures. I do appreciate those who explore their ghosts and their own perversions, offering them to the world. But the majority of his images, from the photographic point of view, don’t strike me in a particular manner. In some cases I can’t see further than a woman with her leg open and a jet of pee flying into the air.

One year ago anyway, I was looking at his portfolio in a gallery, amazing minuscule black and white prints, I’d say 6×10 cm or 10×15 cm maximum, on a big page. Traditional prints, fascinating me with their perfect analogical black and white, produced with mastery and some nostalgic and retro taste.

I particularly love little prints. Giant pictures are always of impact, but also the tiny ones, when presented on a big paper that gives air and space to the image, are amazing. The visual perception goes on another plan and you must near the image, to look at it close. It feels like you keep something precious between your hands, a little jewel. Technically, prints that haven’t been enlarged keep some of the beauty that contact prints have, that softness and richness of tones, little details that make antique pictures fascinating.

Between the images of Gilles Berquet portfolio, one suddenly stroke me for its elegant composition and the intensity of the model’s eye. It’s a picture without title of 2000 that represent Mïrka Lugosi, the lover and muse of Gilles Berquet, with a black bug on the hand.

I suddenly fell in love with the whiteness of her skin over a black and confused background, the hand in the foreground and the body almost out-of-focus, behind the black bug walking on the woman fingers, as dark as her black-painted nails. But most of all it is her face, her expression that make the shot intense and unforgettable. It is her bob haircut, her strong make-up, her black lips. Her wrinkles at the borders of her mouth, as she would be a witch, her cruel and angry look. Terrible, intense and upsetting. Absolute power of the darkness, a concert of malignity and perversion.