Based out of Lausanne, Switzerland, Photography feature – Matthieu Gafsou spent more than a year immersed in the lives of drug addicts. Published by Kehrer, ‘Only God Can Judge Me’ assembles several themes tackled through distinct formal registers.
Drugs and accessories are reproduced as consumer products, close-up against uniform backgrounds. Photographed against a black background, with carefully applied lighting effects, the portraits of drug addicts are distinguished by their semi-pictorial treatment, inspired by the tradition of portraiture. The places where addicts meet and consume drugs are particularly elaborate, to the point of creating nocturnal landscapes that evoke artificial paradises.
And the collection is completed by semi-abstract images, allegories of the ability of drugs to transcend reality. By developing a rich and varied visual language mixing different levels of representation and interpretation, Matthieu Gafsou manages to create a genuine sense experience.