Wanted: Wild Man
Image rights: Copyright Charles Fréger / Courtesy Kicken Berlin
Keenly attuned to the visual cues by which specific communities are defined, Charles Fréger travels the world, immersing himself in a range of societal groups to create highly formal, deeply empathetic photographic portraits of their members. Likening his work within these communities to an “invasion of their territory,” Fréger aims for the fullest understanding of his subjects, explaining: “I don’t believe in any kind of distance between a photographer and the subject.” Working in series and always capturing individuals in their own context, he has photographed young boys training to be sumo wrestlers in Japan, European villagers dressed in ceremonial animal costumes, and the members of a Sikh military regiment. Through a combination of full- and half-length portraits, Fréger reveals social structures, dress codes, and personalities, building a nuanced picture of a whole community through its detailed parts.
French, b. 1975