'I first discovered Ghana when I came across the beautiful book Paul Strand dedicated to this country. It made such an incredible impression on me that on that day, I promised myself that I would one day go and photograph Ghana.
After Gallimard Editions published my book Fils de Roi—a work entirely dedicated to Egypt—, I felt that the time had come for me to find new sources of inspiration. In search of fresh landscapes and new ways of being, I set out to explore Sub-Saharan Africa.
My first encounter was in Accra, with the community of Jamestown's fishermen. There, I was struck by scenes straight out of old oil paintings. The light along the ocean dazzled, transforming the men into silhouettes. After experiencing the prudishness of Egypt, I loved the beauty and the freedom of the Ghanaian bodies. For a photographer, these bodies are a gift.
Further to meeting Joseph, I visited his village in the Ashanti region. But Ghana is not a country so easily tamed, and I had to make many return trips. And during my last trip, I found that my stubbornness had paid off. It was then that I discovered a village at the foot of Lake Volta where I encountered the most beautiful people. It was there that I took what may be my finest portraits—of a village idiot, of the children, and once again, of a group of fishermen.
I love this feeling of perpetual discovery which reminds me of childhood. I try to live within this eternal yet self-renewing state of constant rebirth.'
— Denis Dailleux
Denis Dailleux was born in 1958 in Angers, France. He has published a series of photography books, portraying Egypt, Cairo, his impressions of the revolution, and Ghana.
Dailleux has been awarded several international prizes, including the Monographies Award in 1997, the World Press Photo Award in the portraits category in 2000, the Hasselblad of the town Vevey Award in Switzerland in 2000, the Fujifilm Award of Festival Terre d'Images to Biarritz in 2001, and the World Press Photo Award 2014 in the staged portraits category (2nd). In 2019, he was awarded the renowned Prix Roger Pic. He is a member of Agence VU and currently lives in Paris.
Press release courtesy Galerie—Peter—Sillem.