The Surge by Carine Magescas at Emmanuel Fremin Gallery

Image above: ©Carine Marescas, The Surge #1. Courtesy of Emmanuel Fremin Gallery.


Carine Magescas is a French photographer living and working in New York City. Prior to her relocation in 2013, Carine spent nearly fifteen years in California honing in her craft, cultivating it with fine technique. Today, her dexterity for sophistication can be experienced within a single frame, both visually and conceptually.

A French transplant living in the United States, Carine’s vision is endowed with a placeless, timeless sensibility: she creates images of the familiar that speak to the universal, allowing viewers to collectively find quiet sanctuary in her dreamlike seascapes. In line with the anecdote: the beach, surfboards, and lifeguard stands quintessentially placed and positioned along the edges of a vast shore evoke stillness, secluding viewers to a space of self-reflection. Through delicate overexposure and a minimalist approach, Carine captures a luminous haven of subdued serenity, summoning a surge of introspective awakening within her audience. As such, her oeuvre limns a metaphysical experience, beyond the form and function of space and time.

©Carine Marescas, Out of Time. Courtesy of Emmanuel Fremin Gallery.


Ray of Moon©Carine Marescas, Ray of Moon. Courtesy of Emmanuel Fremin Gallery.


Carine photographed her collection off-season, with access to some of the most iconic American beaches in Montauk and on the Northern coast of California. Fascination with the human story, particularly in its immensity and meekness, paradoxically comes alive when human presence is at its scarcest – the banal suddenly becomes [opaque] reverie. This can be seen in Carine’s “Out of Time” in which a lack of subject matter arouses a sharp separation from the friction of daily life and its infinite inhabitants. As the fine line scratched between our diurnal dystopia (depicted by earth and its sandy shores) blends with the illusive pursuit of happiness (emanating from the ocean’s utopian embrace,) time remains at a standstill. Our surfers rendering shadowed silhouettes lined with silver thus achieve a holistic, Yin Yang state of being – higher in awareness, each vertical figure emerges toward the universal. Recurring throughout Carine’s photographs, one piece in particular emanates this carefully constructed theme. Reminiscent of Barnett Newman’s abstract expressionist color field work, Carine’s “Ray of Moon” dissolves in sleek waters, succinctly encapsulating her leitmotif with a single, attenuated line illuminated against an elegant darkness.

Off-season means quiet, though by no means static – the vast expanses of shoreline and beach in Carine’s images, rid of all seasonal furor, bring forth a spontaneous sense of internal armistice and alignment with the now. In and of themselves, photographs are testaments to the ephemeral; one must sit and converse with the shot to fully understand and endure a single captured moment. The images in ‘The Surge’ series dissolve into the viewer’s consciousness like a tablet in a glass of water: the blues, the powdery sand, the contemplative skies existing far from visceral anxieties of daily life. It’s as if the world is given back its humility – its colors lush, its sweetness made visible once more through a vague memory experienced subjectively, for the second time. Through a self-driven post-production process, Carine’s stream of consciousness is refined then executed conceptually, with a finished product mantled in transcendent nuances.

 American Woman

©Carine Marescas, American Woman. Courtesy of Emmanuel Fremin Gallery.


Not surprisingly, Carine deeply admires Saul Leiter’s work. To quote Leiter, “I simply looked at the world, not really prepared for anything […] I like it when one is not certain of what one sees; when we do not know why the photographer has taken a picture and when we do not know why we are looking at it, all of a sudden we discover something that we start seeing. I like this confusion.” ‘The Surge’ series is a true sight to be seen and felt through its reflective nature and visual aesthetic; after experiencing Carine Magescas’ exceptional artistry, you will inherently be led toward a path of self-actualization through the pondering of existence and its beauty – the beauty that lies subtly, in all moments of contemplation.

Biography written by Tanya Mirza

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