The Subversion of Images – Photography of Paul Nouge

Paul Nougé popped up via Pinterest, usually a treasure trove of images for those of us who miss it the first time around. As a fan of surrealism and in particular photography; he intrigued me.

Between 1929 and 1930 he took an ordinary and rather inexpensive camera and starting taking photographs. They are at first glance seemingly normal looking scenes depicting scenes of people but if you look closer, they aren’t quite as ordinary as you first thought. They evoke a feeling of a by-gone era, weird scenes akin to Victorian parlours that hosted supernatural goings-on. What is also rather extraordinary about these images is how well lit, composed and photographed they are, little is known about Nougé and from what I can gather, he hadn’t prior experience of photography.

In 1968, a small book of his images was edited and published by Marcel Marien in a limited edition of 230 copies, half a year after Paul Nougé’s death, it was called The Subversion of Images. This book is now due to be republished in November 2019 for those of you who want to keep a more permanent edition of his work. Paul Nougé was a leading light of Belgian surrealism and continues to inspire many aspiring photographers and artists that wish to dabble in the world of the surrealists.

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