Scott Billy, Carole Schmitz

American by birth, Billy Scott He moved to Johannesburg over 25 years ago. He has always been interested in art and is absolutely passionate about South African art and design. Before owning a gallery, he worked in marketing in South Africa, a job he was not entirely satisfied with. It is thanks to the many South African artists he has met over the years that he decided to make this major change in his life.
With his partner Kari Smith, he opened Galerie Bonne Espérance in Paris a few years ago. A space that invites you to experience South Africa’s creative exuberance and showcases emerging and established artists working in the fields of art, design and craft.
From Cape Town to Johannesburg, Durban to Pretoria, Bonne Espérance is an immersion in creative geography.South Africa and neighboring countries, Lesotho, Swaziland, Botswana, Namibia.
Scott’s dream: to give a new voice to the unique art scene on the African continent with its originality, diversity and openness to the world.
Also a huge photography enthusiast, he happily submitted our request.

Instagram: gallery_good_hope

Your first deaththe keyphoto icon?
Scott Billy: I took a photography course when I was a kid. For my first project, I photographed a beautiful art deco building from 1932. I thought I was the most amazing photographer, but what was amazing was the building.

An image person who inspires you?
Scott Billy : There are many, but Jurgen Schadeberg’s photographs are very simple with a strong and subtle message about South Africa and social injustice, but without anger and sometimes even with humor.

The picture you want rachieve?
Scott Billy : Portrait of Jann Turner with Eugene de Kock, taken in 1997 by South African photographer George Hallett for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Eugene de Kock, aka Prime Evil, was the apartheid government assassin who killed Jann Turner’s father. In this powerful portrait, she stands next to the man who killed her father and looks at him with an ambiguous expression.

The one that attracts you the mostis it
Scott Billy : “The Funeral of the Sharpeville Massacre” by Jurgen Schadeberg. In 1960, he rented a small plane to take an aerial photograph of the funeral of 69 protesters who were shot dead by police near Johannesburg.

And the one who put you on his lapeD?
Scott Billy : “Sharpeville Massacre Funeral”.

A staple in your personal pantheon?
Scott Billy: “97 rue de Clery corner rue Beauregard Paris 2” by Robert Doisneau. My gallery is in Sentier and every day on my way to the gallery I pass the Pointe Trigano, the most exquisite building in Paris, painted by Atget, Brassai, Cartier-Bresson and other greats. But Doisneau’s picture of Pointe Trigano is the best because it’s raining. And Paris is magnificent in the rain.

Qualitye noneeded for eto be a good photographer?
Scott Billy : The ability to find the right subject and understand the light.

The secret, if any, to the perfect image?
Scott Billy : As above – perfect subject and perfect light.

The person you want to photograph?
Scott Billy: I’ve been obsessed with Joni Mitchell since I was a kid. He’s the only famous person I really want to meet. I hope he reads this.

An important photo book?
Scott Billy: “Atget” if you’re a Parisian flaneur like me.

The camera of your debut?
Scott Billy : My first camera was a Kodak 110 flat pocket camera; I made the small negatives myself in my school’s darkroom.

Which one are you using today?
Scott Billy : I have too many cameras. I have a very expensive large Canon DSLR that I never used because it was too heavy. I have more fun with cheap plastic film cameras like the Holga because you often get pleasant surprises while developing the film. I made my own pinhole camera that produced the most amazing surprises.

Before your drugferewhat?
Scott Billy: I’m too old to take drugs.

The best way to disconnect for you?
Scott Billy : Reading keeps me away from all the stress.

Your greatest quality ?
Scott Billy : I try not to take myself too seriously.

An image to illustrate the new banknote?
Scott Billy : Josephine Baker would be perfect on a new euro note. The EU needs a new brand image.

A job you don’t want to do?
Scott Billy: Banker, mathematician, storekeeper, anything related to numbers. I prefer pictures.

Your biggest extravagance as a photographer?
Scott Billy : I’ve spent a lot of money on lenses sitting in a closet gathering dust.

Values ​​you want to share hour through the pictures you take?
Scott Billy : That’s one of the reasons I’m such a bad photographer. I’m not good enough at sharing values ​​through my pictures. But I really admire South African photographers like Zanele Muholi, Jurgen Schadeberg and David Goldblatt who have succeeded in this.

City, country or culture reyou dopen?
Scott Billy : My next trip will be to Clermont-Ferrand. During my first covid arrest, I did some genealogical research and discovered that my ancestors emigrated from Clermont-Ferrand in the 18th century. I like the idea of ​​traveling from Auvergne to Quebec, New York, South Africa and now France over several centuries.

A place where you never get tired?
Scott Billy : Namibia, the most beautiful country in the world. You can drive for hours and not see a single person, car or building.

Your biggest regret?
Scott Billy: I don’t think about regret.

Instagram, Tik Tok or Snapchat?
Scott Billy : None of them. People spend a lot of time on their phones. I only do social media, Instagram, because I have to as a gallerist.

Color or B&W?
Scott Billy : Both, but B&W is better.

Lightof day or light againeartificial again?
Scott Billy : Natural light, always.

The most photogenic city hour your opinion
Scott Billy : Paris, but parts of Paris that most people find less beautiful, and especially Paris in the rain. I like the photos of Paris, which look like a scene from a novel by Patrick Modiano.

If there was a God, would you ask him to pose for you or take a selfie with him?
Scott Billy: I would ask him to take a selfie of the two of us and post it on Instagram, pointing to the gallery.

An image that represents the current state of the world for you?
Scott Billy : See Getty Images special correspondent John Moore (jbmoorephoto) Instagram for heartbreaking photos from the war in Ukraine.

You can tell us about your previous photosfersay:
Scott Billy : Oh, tough question because there are pictures I like. But if you have to choose, here are the things I want to talk to you about today:

  • Santu Mofokeng, “Winter in Thembisa” because it makes me nostalgic and melancholic.
  • George Hallett, “Jann Turner with Eugene de Kock”because of his appearance and face.
  • George Hallett, “FirstReuniting with Mandela, 1994″. Jann Turner’s dreamy portrayal of Eugene de Kock is uncharacteristic of Hallett, who usually captures joy in times of hardship or hope. This photo showcases Hallett’s cheerful style.
  • JUrgen Schadeberg, “FunScars of the Sharpeville Massacre ».
  • Jurgen Schadeberg, “Visiting the Farm, Muldersdorf, 1952” . This photo is pure happiness.
  • David Goldblatt, “Saturday Morning hour hypermarket : Miss Cute Legs contest. » I have already shed a tear in front of Goldblatt’s exhibition.
  • Jurgen Schadeberg, “Beauty Queen ContestBenoni, 1952 ″. It’s a social commentary made with humor.
  • Jurgen Schadeberg, “The Gambling Four, Sophiatown 1955” Because of the Carravegio-esque light.
  • Zanele Muholi, “Apinda Mpako and Ayanda Magudulela, Parktown, Johannesburg” because this series of photographs depicting the daily lives of South African lesbians has done more to advance the LGBTQ cause in Africa than any other art project in decades.
  • Nan Goldin, “The Ballad of Sexual Addiction”because I want to know what happened in their life and if they survived it
  • Samuel Fosso, “The Leader Who Sold Africa to the Settlers”. Samuel Fosson’s self-portraits make me laugh and think
  • Zwelethu Mthethwa, “Intforward »according to portraits of people in their homes.
  • Nontsikelelo Veleko, “Kepi, Newtown, Johannesburg” Johannesburg’s Nontsikelelo Veleko street style photos brilliantly capture the ability of Joburg’s fashion kids to look amazing for next to nothing.
  • “97 rue de Clery corner rue Beauregard Paris 2” by Robert Doisneau. It’s a beautiful historical picture of a place I walk by every day.
  • Adiantum Pedatum,” Carl Blossfeldt. Of course, there are many nature photographs, but for me Blossfeldt’s photographs best capture the complex beauty of plants, perhaps because he is a photographer and a botanist.
  • Controversial series Platteland by Roger Ballen It showed a side of South Africa that many South Africans don’t want or don’t want to see. When they came out, my South African friends either loved them or hated them

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