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Artists Isabelle & Alexis Set Off Vibrant Smoke ‘Blossoms’ Around the World

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Spain

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Guatemala

When artists Isabelle Chapuis and Alexis Pichot detonate a smoke bomb, they have one minute—maybe two, if they’re lucky—to photograph the billowing vapor before it vanishes entirely. For The Blossom Project, the fashion photographer and light painter, who together make Isabelle & Alexis, release clouds of colored smoke into the most beautiful and enigmatical corners of the globe, from France to Turkey, the US, Spain, Norway and Belgium to Morocco, Mexico, and Guatemala.

The Blossom Project began in early 2012 with a single image of pink smoke cascading down the Paris streets. After it won second place in a competition entitled Paris, I love you, that seed became a bud and ultimately bloomed into what it is today. The images are authored equally by both photographers, and as such, they inherit both Chapuis’s eye for nuance and airy textures and Pichot’s familiarity with architecture and dimensions. The collaboration, they both agree, was inevitable.

On its most essential level, the smoke has come to represent for both artists a visual manifestation of the creative impulse; the adrenaline that courses through them as they snap away within a strictly limited time frame is mirrored, echoed, and distilled in the serendipitous figures formed by the looming smoke. They prefer positioning the smoke bomb where human eyes and hands can’t land, and with help from Nikon, they used drones to set them off from high above the ground.

The Blossom Project is a celebration of the earth and its creative potential—its fertile landscapes and irreplaceable flowerings, but Chapuis and Pichot acknowledge the planet’s vulnerability. While they shoot in feral landscapes, they also capture urban terrain, and thereby recognize the interventions of mankind. The smoke, they suggest, straddles the boundary between the manmade and the organic, and for that reason, it can evoke either ecstasy and revelation or anxiety and foreboding.

The Blossom Project has been exhibited at Paris’s Month of Photography and the Arles International Photo Festival, both as large-scale street installations. At Studio Rouchon Paris, Isabelle & Alexis unveiled a twelve by three meter print. To follow the evolution of The Blossom Project and to stay updated on upcoming events, find the project on Facebook and Instagram.

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Spain

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Florida, USA

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Turkey

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Norway

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Guatemala

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Guatemala

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Guatemala

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Mexico

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Mexico

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France

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Spain

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Spain

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Turkey

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Turkey

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Norway

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France

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France

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France

All images © Isabelle & Alexis

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