May 10, 2011
In this new land of abstraction, Ron is an explorer who at once discovers and reveals.
This kind of communication with the viewer is subtle and subjective. I invite you to look and to ponder.
by François Delattre
Ambassadeur de France
Ron Agam and I met in 2004 soon after I had taken up my post as Consul General of France in New York. During our many subsequent discussions, I was especially struck by his commitment to art as well as his remarkable ability to bridge peoples and nations. Indeed, he holds a unique position both as an artist and a humanitarian. Ron always sought to encourage peace and mutual understanding among peoples through his political activities which center on New York, Israel and France. I am most grateful to Ron for the partnerships he helped build between the Jewish community in New York and France. I’ll always remember one iconic moment: the day that Shimon Peres chose to launch the publication of his definitive biography at the French Consulate in New York. Without Ron’s steady advice and support, this would not have occurred. Let this one example suffice to illustrate the significant ties which were made and the goodwill fostered thanks to his collaboration. For all his singular work, Ron was conferred the insignia of Chevalier of the French Legion of Honor in 2008.
I remember Ron telling me about growing up in France and Israel nurtured not only by these two cultures but also by an artistic family with a father who remains a reference in the contemporary art world. Ron developed a rich, wide-ranging perspective early on. As an adventurous young man of nineteen, he decided to leave for the United States. It was a flourishing period; he was captivated by the New York art scene and the stimulating environment of the artists of that time, among them Andy Warhol. He acted as a liaison between artists and the public in many of his ventures and then started exhibiting his own photographs in 1994. These pictures have led him to unexpected arenas – and equally unexpected encounters, from Mayor Rudy Giuliani to Madonna – and frequently offer the viewer an utterly unfamiliar world, such as the conclave of Mea Shearim and, of course, the images of that unspeakable day of 9/11. On that morning, he had raced down to the disaster area from his nearby studio, wanting first and foremost to help the survivors. His photographs of that day remain a testimony to the suffering and the heroism of thousands.
Ron Agam constantly brings fresh, new elements to his work. In his 2009 exhibition “In Full Bloom,” his photos depicted flowers on a monumental scale, almost the size of the viewer himself; one might say that they resembled portraits of human beings, provoking thoughts about our vision of nature and our place within it.
I am delighted to introduce this latest facet of Ron Agam’s creative work as an artist. In this new land of abstraction, Ron is an explorer who at once discovers and reveals. This kind of communication with the viewer is subtle and subjective. I invite you to look and to ponder.