© Mathieu Bitton
MATHIEU BITTON | DARKER THAN BLUE
March 09 – April 30, 2017
“The photographs in my “Darker Than Blue” collection represent moments I was fortunate enough to witness throughout my recent world travels. When I look at these pictures now, they feel like they were taken through a time machine, or a lucid dream, carrying every sensation and nuance—hyper realistic contrasts— only my Leica cameras can capture. The title “Darker Than Blue” references a 1970 Curtis May eld lyric from the Civil Rights- themed, “We People Who Are Darker Than Blue.” I’ve always loved its depth and symbolism, and have sought to reflect that paradox of hope and struggle in these images. My lifelong passion for the history, music, cinema, posters, and other arts of the black community comes full circle with this exhibit as my contribution to artifacts that honor such a rich and beautiful culture.”
Mathieu is often dubbed the “photographer of the stars,” French-born Grammy Award nominated artist Mathieu Bitton has designed over 800 CDs, LPs, DVDs, posters, books and other products and is a world-renowned collector and authority on Black films. Bitton has worked as Lenny Kravitz’s Creative Director and Photographer since 2008, having recently released a book with Rizzoli. Recent projects also include photography for an upcoming Dave Chappelle Netflix special, books on Bob Dylan and the film “The Nice Guys” for Rizzoli, the Alex Gibney-directed and Mick Jagger-produced “Mr Dynamite” artwork and new releases by Lenny Kravitz, Stevie Wonder, Robert Glasper, Miles Davis and Earth, Wind & Fire, film posters for films including Kevin McDonald’s award-winning “Marley” and Jane’s Addcition’s “A Cabinet Of Curiosities” (Grammy nominated). Clients/subjects have included Prince, Sting, The Rolling Stones, Bruno Mars, Lana Del Rey, Phjarrelle Williams, Jay-Z, Gary Clark, Jr. Sidney Poitier, Quincy Jones, Quentin Tarantino, James Brown, Dick Gregory, Raphael Saadiq, Smokey Robinson, The Jackson 5, Lionel Richie, Harry Belafonte, Iggy Pop, Buddy Guy, Run-DMC, Barry White and Dolly Parton. Bitton is the 2012 recipient of one of France’s highest honors, Chevalier De L’Ordre Des Arts et Des Lettres (Knight of the order of arts & letters). His first feature documentary film “Looking Back On Love” about Lenny Kravitz was released to high praise in 2013. He also serves as Blue Note Records Photographer since 2015. New projects include both a book and feature film documentary on Prince. The first edition of his Darker Than Blue book with Leica sold out in a couple months. Previous exhibitions include Travelogue, 2013, Sheats-Goldstein residence, Los Angeles, CA and Ascension, 2015, Ostlicht Gallery In Vienna and in Sofia, Bulgaria in 2016 – both in collaboration with Leica. His current touring exhibition Darker Than Blue opened to huge success at Leica Gallery Los Angeles and is making its East Coast premiere at Leica Gallery Boston.