Oliver Lavielle is known for his timeless photographs, in which vintage cars and airplanes play the starring roles. ‘Besides having incredible stories, they combine everything I love. I’m a pilot and a happy owner of a four-wheeled American legend…’ He works with Yellow Korner, a French art gallery that operates in 24 countries and has 89 galleries. His photos adorn hundreds of walls in living rooms, bedrooms, public places and offices. ‘I’m so happy to be able to share my vision of the world with people who are willing to pay for a piece of my world.’
What is it about classic cars and planes that he likes so much? What is not to like, is the real question, according to Olivier. ‘I like machines. Not only because of the adventures and challenges involved in creating these cars and airplanes, but also because of the human ingenuity that made them possible. Mobility has always been interwoven with the development of our civilisation. But there is an artistic dimension as well, not only concealed within the mechanical engineering, but also in the beauty of the lines. It’s fascinating how engineers design machines that are both practical and beautiful.’ Due to the classic lines and colours his photos seem timeless. That isn’t because he’s nostalgic at heart. ‘I live in an era that no longer exists. I’ve never felt comfortable in our disposable, no-style world. I chose to live in a hybrid era made up of everything I love from the 1940s to the end of the 1970s. My images are the translation of the world I live in. Nostalgic? Not at all! This world exists, I live in it, it’s mine!’
Most of his photos are made in the US, mainly in the western part of the country. He visits Los Angeles regularly. ‘This is where I find the beautiful subjects that bring my world to life. A shoot is not just a shoot, it involves so much more: an American car, a road leading to an endless horizon, sleeping in motels, beers with strangers in saloons, flights in legendary planes, classic cars meetings and vintage fast food. And after documenting all that, the shoot is finished.’ It’s not only America where he finds the ingredients for his world. He also likes visiting Hong Kong. ‘It’s a mix of past and future. An architectural explosion, a delight of ancestral traditions. In Hong Kong I’m working on a project called ‘Warp One’, photos inspired by the principle of distortion, a theory that is popular in the Star Trek series, of which I’m a fan. It has nothing to do with my usual work since it is part of the distant future.’
His collaboration with Yellow Korner is the best thing that could have happened. ‘Its goal is to offer everyone the possibility of owning a numbered limited edition. Featuring work by photographers of all nationalities ensures that photographic art in general becomes more mainstream, and that photographers can sell their vision to a worldwide public. Think global visibility in beautiful galleries in major capitals, with customers from around the world. Photographs are made to be shown, printed and shared. Having global visibility is the best thing that can happen to a photographer.’
Olivier uses the Panasonic LUMIX S1R. ‘I fell in love with this camera. For my work as an artist I need a high definition for gigantic prints. The 47MP is just perfect. The stabilisation is crazy and the ergonomics are great. In short, this is the best camera. Regarding the lenses, I’m totally seduced by the LUMIX 24-70mm f/2.8 and the Sigma 35mm f/1.2. The quality of the L-mount lenses is just incredible. And for a director of photography who likes to mix cinema with photography, the bokehs are just sublime. Between my Panasonic LUMIX S1R and me it's crazy love!’
LUMIX Ambassador Olivier Lavielle is an art-photographer from France whose work you can find in 24 countries, thanks to the 89 Yellow Korner galleries around the world. He’s also a photojournalist, a movie director and a director of photography.
Formerly a huge fan of mechanics, part of his work focused on vintage cars and planes. But he is also a globetrotter and a fan of wildlife, nature and portraiture. As a photographer, he sees his job as capturing something wherever he has the chance to be, and bring it to those who don’t have that chance. As an artist, he tries his best to create photography around his own vision of the world, to share it and, maybe, to touch people emotionally. Rather than just taking pictures, he lives an adventure. His sincere hope is that his work will inspire people to create and share!