We Drink Gasoline: until April 10 Théo Gosselin shows his pictures at Art En Transe Gallery in Paris. An homage to freedom, adventure and youth.
WE DRINK GASOLINE
A minivan, some friends, a starry night on the Californian desert. That’s how we start our journey through the exposition We Drink Gasoline by Théo Gosselin: 25-year-old French photographer at his first personal exhibition in Paris.
Young but already famous, Théo has become a social network star in recent years. By posting pictures of him traveling around the world. He has now gained a real public that follows him almost religiously in every one of his adventures. Including his Parisian one. Last Thursday, in fact, 2000 out of his almost 123k Instagram followers met at the Art En Transe Gallery for the opening of the exposition. For a vernissage in the Marais, it was a crowd worth of a rock show.
The photographs gathered in this exposition are a tale in pictures of Théo’s three road trips through the sunny American landscapes. They include the already famous journey made in 2012 with fellows photographers and filmmakers Cedric Jereb, Lucas Hauchard, Marvin Morris McLean and Emmanuel Rosario. This same wonderful experience will give birth, a few years later, to Goodbye Horses: a documentary that follows the five guys from East Coast to West Coast.
The adventure starts in New York. Here they buy a cheap minivan that will eventually take Théo and his friends to Los Angeles. As in those journeys we read about in novels, their road trip doesn’t go for highways. But it crosses small cities and huge fields. While they drive without a precise route in mind. It’s an escapade made of beers on the beach, nights spent sleeping under the sky. And random people met along the street that eventually become friends.
That’s what Théo shows in his pictures: his 100% true experience, no filter added. The scenes in his photos are not staged. But they capture genuine moments of conviviality and carefreeness in a natural scenario. People portrayed are not models: they are Théo’s friends, his girlfriend, or people he shared something with along those trips across United States.
FREEDOM, ESCAPISM, TRAVEL
We Drink Gasoline is made of simple but strong pictures that make us dream to be elsewhere. Théo Gosselin’s work is a clear reference to his dearest values in life: freedom, escapism, travel. And it’s actually with a little envy that we look at the portraits of these young people full of energies, who live their lives without a care in the world, enjoying the present and what it has to offer. It’s the image of a youth that is able to see the beauty in everyday life and to simply have fun traveling through the broad American lands. Watching them, you kind of want to take the first flight to the States and do the same, to get lost in nature, to stand up on a minivan looking at the setting sun on the horizon. While the stars take their place in the desert’s sky.
As members of the audience, we live all these emotions through Théo’s poetic eye. And his way of capturing a generation looking for freedom and a different life; a human experience as well as an aesthetic one. That’s why Théo reached a wide fame among people of his same age: he depicts them, along with their dreams and wishes. What seduces us is the sentiment behind his pictures, made of love and friendship. While following the American dream.
THE EXHIBITION IN PARIS. WE DRINK GASOLINE
Outside the smooth white walls of the Art En Transe Gallery (2 rue Roger Verlomme, 75003 Paris), Théo’s works are available in his two books edited by Editions du LIC: Avec le Coeur from 2013 and Sans limites from 2015. Here you can find the same sense of freedom and escape. As well as his typical American aesthetics, clearly cinematic, inspired by great names of photography such as Larry Clark or Nan Goldin.
Always fascinated by film, Théo gave up digital photography quite naturally. He himself maintains that the latter is a great way to learn some technique. With no care for the number of shots needed to get the perfect one. However, he soon realized that even when shooting in digital he tried to reach the grainy, nostalgic quality of the film through the editing process. That’s why, once his technique improved, he decided to adopt analog cameras. Just like when he was a kid and his father first thought him how to shoot. Plus, during long backpacking trips, a Nikon F2 becomes an inseparable adventure companion: extremely more practical to handle than a complete digital equipment. And, probably, more romantic too.
To sum up, Théo Gosselin developed though his pictures a certain vision full of promises. Love and life. That’s the reason why we love him: staring at his works we can empathize with them. We can almost feel the cool breeze on our face coming from those landscapes. We Drink Gasoline is, in fact, a real invitation to travel, with both body and soul. So, waiting to live your own adventure, you have time until April 10 to visit the Art En Transe Gallery in Paris and, with a cup of tea in your hands, listen to the gallery manager Catherine Lafournière narrating the story of Théo Gosselin and his fabulous trips.