François Fontaine was born in Paris in 1968.
As a History of Art student at the Sorbonne , François developed a passion for photography and travel, which he combined over the following ten years during trips to South-East Asia, where he photographed the Mekong and the Angkor region in Cambodia. In 1997, he was shortlisted for the Kodak Prize for Critical Photography for his feature story Phnom-Penh Jails. From 1998 to 2002, Fontaine lived and worked in Madrid where he began taking colour photographs. His three feature stories Semana Santa, Poésie Urbaine and Les Fleurs de la Nuit exhibited in many Spanish cities.
François took up residence in 2005 at the Guangdong Museum of Art in Guangzhou, China. Journeying along the Trans-Siberian railway and then crossing continental China, he completed the series Lost in China, keenly inspired by Asian cinema. The quality of the dreamlike chromatic photographs earned Fontaine a Leica Oskar Barnack Award..
In 2006 and 2007, Fontaine continued his photographic discovery of statues and monuments, previously explored in Spain and Brazil, carrying out a commission for Palace magazine on the subject of Paris’s public statues. Rêves de Statues is a phantasmagorical portrayal of the French capital’s statues at night. Together with Les Christs de Salvador and Lost in China, it exhibited at the Guangdong Museum of art in 2008, during which year Fontaine also realised Japanese Whispers and Naoshima in Japan. The last voyage of helicopter-carrier the Jeanne d’Arc was captured by Fontaine in 2010 in his feature story Le Vaisseau Fantôme. In 2010 with his serie L’Heure Sacrée the artist plunges into the deep spirituality of Hinduism in India.
Fontaine’s most recent oeuvre, Silenzio ! Mémoires de cinéma, explores the world of cinema, in a chromatic collection of illusory photographs, where glamour and suspense vie for centre stage. A book Silenzio! was published by de L’Œil to mark the exhibition of this work, which exhibited at the Hotel Jules et Jim in Paris, the Photo Gallery of the Institut Lumière in Lyon and the Cinema of the Pantheon in Paris.
François, whose work is inseparable from the themes of fantasy and the ethereal, has created a timeless photographic oeuvre that draws inspiration intuitively from and in response to encounters with different events, cultures and peoples. Francois is currently on his first world tour.