calais

Paul-Armand Gette

Musée des Beaux-Arts et de la Dentelle

I am tempted to conflate two of Paul-Armand Gette’s phrases: “On exoticism as banality” and “On eroticism as banality,” to characterize his work as “eroticism as exoticism.” The first of his phrases refers to the discovery of the multitude of exotic plants that grow alongside urban avenues; the second deplores the banality of eroticism in advertising. Gette’s work is far removed from this banality: its eroticism is one of the edge—of situations outside the norm which may appear exotic.

For some time, Gette has associated his love of plants and of nature with his love for women and young girls, those nymphs who haunt wood, gardens, and the seaside, as well as more private places such as dressing rooms and bathrooms. As both entomologist and botanist, Gette started photographing young women in natural settings in 1970, in works that suggest a link between the mutability of landscape and

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