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Powerful Portraits Juxtapose Young Love and Urban Sorrow

The spark of young love materializes as bursts of color in Pierre Baëlen's searing urban portraits.

by Diana Shi
Aug 7 2016, 11:30am

All photos courtesy the artist

Young couples, standing along on a deserted road or hunched in a cloudless sky of satellites, cling to each other as shots of colored powder jump from their bodies. These are French photographer Pierre Baëlen's compelling images of young love surrounded by the gritty landscapes of a polluted manufacturing town. With the help of Cream, a creative production company, Baëlen developed the series Climax into a searing collection of portraits of modern-day disillusionment tempered with youthful passion.

Baëlen effectively conveys the entrenched companionship that comes from living in an unappealing world. The message reads something in the vein of “true love triumphs,” or at least offers a respite from the sooty, gray-colored corners of the outdoors reality. As the photographer shares with The Creators Project, “For this series, I used colored pigments on people, real couples kissing or having [a] simple time of tenderness surrounded by nature, flood, smoke, clouds, pollution, or industrial environment. The blast of colors is an expression of positive energy and passion; a kind of climax in a contemporary world.”

See the Climax of love in an unforgiving world, below: 

Take in more from Baëlen's photos from Climax, among others, at his website, here.

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