Nathalie Daoust: Saatchi Online Critic’s Choice By Georgia Haagsma

Nathalie Daoust, Tamas

Nathalie Daoust’s photographs reflect a love for random places and a wild, inexhaustible sense of inquisitiveness. Exploring, experiencing and documenting rarely visited landscapes and carefully hidden hotel rooms, Daoust spent the last decade producing voyeuristic insights into these otherwise veiled existences.

The Canadian Daoust, who studied the technical aspects of photography at the Cégep du Vieux-Montréal, spent two years in the late nineties living in the Carlton Arms Hotel in New York. The rooms, all themed and decorated with mad and colourful murals, formed an excellent background for Daoust’s photographic projects, which focused on the dark, obscure and, especially in those years, the ghostly.

Daoust traveled extensively and took photos not only of New York hotel rooms but also of Tokio’s red light district, Brazilian brothels and Swiss naturists populating the Alps. The images of her work currently visible on Saatchi Online are a series of the latter.

Extremely ethereal with their near eerie pastel colours, these hand-painted black and white photographs depict the empty wilderness of the Swiss landscape. The works are playful, both in colour and content, but they also carry something disconcerting, something strange and dreamlike like a walk through a sun-drenched open field, lightheaded after too many glasses of wine.

Daoust’s work is diverse and intense, She seeks to translate her almost childlike interpretation of the world into fairytale like stories, creating new myths about modern day society. Recently she spent several months living in the Alpha Inn, one of the biggest S&M “love hotels” in Japan. Daoust won the trust and confidence of the women that work in this environment and photographed them, breaking taboos in a most subtle and respectful manner. The resulting works are endearing, terrifying and astonishing.

For more information visit the artist’s website:

About the author

Georgia Haagsma studied at the University of Amsterdam, the Gerrit Rietveld Academy and moved to London to finish her BA in Cultural Studies at University College London, where she graduated with honours in Art, Science and Practice. She worked in the Press Department at the Saatchi Gallery from February to June 2009 and is now a Gallery Assistant at a contemporary art gallery in London as well as a freelance art critic.

One Comment

  1. sue steward says:

    love love love this photographer.
    She is absolutely fabulous!
    Great pick!


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