WHEN YOU SIT IN A METRO, A BAR, A RESTAURANT. WHEN YOU LOOK AROUND YOU AND SEE THE PEOPLE THAT SHARE YOUR SPACE. DO YOU EVER WONDER WHAT THEIR LIVES ARE LIKE. A MEN READING A PAPER, FOCUSING ON AN ARTICLE JUST TOO LONG. A WOMAN CARRYING HER CHILD, BUT HER EYES GIVE AWAY HER MIND IS NOT WITH WHAT SHE IS DOING? WHAT ARE THEY THINKING OF? WHAT IS GOING ON IN THEIR MIND? WHAT ARE THE EVENTS THAT COLOR THEIR LIVES?
Eric Guichaoua-Serra is an artist. Not only is he a wonderful photographer, Eric is also a gifted musician and composer. Gifts that Eric probably had from the day he was born, back in 1964. But that started to see the light of day when Eric was 12 years old. Because at that age Eric experienced his first introduction to photography and his first introduction to the hard reality we call life.
When Eric Guichaoua-Serra was 12 years old, his mother became very ill. In order to give both his sons some distraction of the hard reality his family suddenly was facing, Eric’s father gave each of them a Zenit EM 24*36 reflex camera. And while his father spent most of his time at the hospital, one of his father’s friends dedicated his time in teaching Eric how to use the camera and how to deal with photographic paper and film. 15 months later Eric’s mother passed away and Eric, young teenager he was, buried himself in his new found passion and spent most of his time in his darkroom.
For 4 years Eric focussed all his free time on his photography, until, at age 16, he discovered another way of expressing his emotions. Music. Eric Guichaoua-Serra changed his life and slowly started to forget about photography. For the next 25 years he solely focused on composing music until one day in 2005 he bought himself a digital camera. It was an impulse that he followed, thinking it was going to be just for fun. But it seemed his destiny was laid out for him once again, because on December 24 of that same year, Eric met Clénil-Cyprien.
Though facing an age difference of more then 15 years, there was an immediate and undeniable attraction between Eric Guichaoua-Serra and Clénil-Cyprien. Maybe it was the creative talent they both had that bonded them at first. Maybe it was truly love at first sight. Fact is that Eric and Clénil found each other and were destined for each other. It was Clénil who encouraged Eric to spend more time with his camera and wanting him to do more, he offered Eric his first digital reflex camera for his first birthday in their relationship. Not just his lover and companion, Clénil also became Eric’s muse. Clénil was a wonderful model and many of Eric’s photographs are dedicated to him. Driven by Clénil, Eric started to exhibit his work and record his music. Life was beautiful and things went well.
Clénil-Cyprien died on June 21 2007. He was only 21 years old. His relation with Eric had been so intense that Eric once again found himself in that dark place of despair and loneliness. And once again his art became the reflection of his emotion. Moody. Gritty. Angry. Sad. His photography turned darker. Almost weird. Often he started to explore the unidentified territory of fetishism. Eric found himself in a dark place with no other escape than his talent. Until in July 2011, after 4 years of mourning, he came to the conclusion that he had to let go. That he had to change his life.
In July 2011 Eric Guichaoua-Serra quite the job he held for 26 years and started his own business in computer technology, photography and music. With Clénin’s encouragement whispering as an echo in his ears, he boldly put together an exhibition of his work from the past years and had a first showing in Marseille in November of that same year. A second exhibition will take place this year, during March and April at the REX fetish shop in Paris. One thing lead to another and Eric was asked to shoot the Baroque New York Fall/Winter Collection 2012. Little by little Eric Guichaoua-Serra is moving forward towards a new future, lead by the spiritual hand of his lover and muse Clénil. –BM-
ERIC GUICHAOUA-SERRA (EGS) | BEAUTIFULMAG