Jean-Christian Rostagni was born and raised in the Rhone valley of France. At the age of fifteen he discovered photography while traveling with his parents around the Mediterranean sea. He has since then devoted the 26 past years to its practice.
Rostagni attended two schools of photography in France. The second was created after the development in the Western part of Provence of a new generation of photographers which was not without some resemblance to the American West Coast scene with Ansel Adams and Weston. Only in France the cult of fine printing was supplemented with a sensitivity to the socio-cultural goals that photography is there meant to have. This is where Rostagni met his master Denis Brihat (one of the world masters of black and white printing and toning). Rostagni began his career as a professional photographer in the Aix en Provence area where he lived and worked for 12 years in his studio-gallery. Then to further hone his skills Rostagni spent three years in Paris where he developed some commercial photography activity with some high caliber customers like British Petroleum and the Société des Eaux de Paris. He and his wife Trisha decided to move to the Triangle in 1993.
Here Rostagni started a book project with the novelist Clyde Edgerton about the Durham Bulls in Durham Athletic Park, seen as an idealization of minor league baseball. He also collaborated with the same writer on an essay about the North Carolina State Fair for the southern literary magazine "The Oxford American". That essay was republished as a serial by the News and Observer in the Fall of 1996 as an illustration of the ongoing fair. One of the Triangle's most celebrated band "The Squirrel Nut Zippers" also used one of his photographs as their main promotion illustration for their second CD "Hot" which ended up turning gold. He exhibited works in the '95 and '97 New Art in the Triangle shows at Duke University Museum of Art, as well as in the 10th year Retrospective show of the Durham Blues Festival.
Jean-Christian Rostagni has been published by Le Monde, Elegant Bride, Marie-Claire, the O.E.C.D. Observer, etc, as well as by Art postcard publishers. He taught a Master Class of fine art photography at Duke Craft Center, gave lectures about photography at the North Carolina Governor School and about the philosophy of photography at the Alliance Française. He has been the recipient of a 1996-97 Emerging Artist Grant from Durham Arts Council. Beside his photographic activities, Jean-Christian Rostagni used to make some commentaries, generally sociologically and politically oriented, on W.U.N.C. Radio.
Jean-Christian Rostagni was honored nationally in November 2000, when his wedding photographs were displayed on the Leica camera booth at the Photo East show in New York. Leica camera is the most prestigious firm in the photo industry, Leica cameras are to photography what Mercedes is to automobiles. A photograph of his was published in the Winter 2000 issue of Elegant Bride magazine.
As an artist Rostagni has always been driven by the desire to touch a mass audience with photographic works that, at first glance, are understandable, yet with study exhibit intriguing depth and complexity. He operates under a professional concept of Chasseur-Dompteur d'Images (which translated means "hunter and tamer of images"). About that he says:
"Because my medium is tied with reality I have to go into the elusive real life to capture the scenes that I believe have the potential to communicate what I want. This is the hunting part. But those scenes, because they are captured under rough conditions ( by opposition to the predicable and measurable conditions of a studio), rarely match the norms of the collective imagination to which I aim to elevate them. This is what I do in the taming part, the printing process, when through the application of a wide variety of techniques, I aim to magnify their ability to communicate subliminally."
PRACTICAL HAPPINESS INSURANCE
I have discovered that the rate of non-divorce among my customers whose wedding I photograph is above 99%. This might sound like random statistics but I believe that there is actually a good reason for that. The theory is that our photographer-couple relationship is the fruit of a very careful selection, both on your part and on mine. When I become your photographer it is always after a very thorough examination from my customers, which means that they take their wedding and its legacy very seriously, explaining why, statistically their couple is a solid one. So if you select me as your wedding photograher, Congratulations! You are extremely likely to have a happy marriage.
RATES (as of December, 2001)
PACKAGES: From $ 2,650.