Christian Coigny (Switzerland) – Behind the Shadow
Exhibition: WILLA SIXTA (FIRST FLOOR), Adama Mickiewicza 24
Meeting: AULA, Modrzewskiego 12 – AUTHORS’ MARATHON, 9th October (Saturday) at 11.30. a.m.
venue available for the disabled

Christian Coigny

Born in 1946 in Lausanne. He works mainly in advertising in the United States and Switzerland. At the same time, he carries out personal work exclusively in silver and black and white photography on the themes of portraiture, nude, landscape and still life.
He entered the Vevey vocational training center at the photography school where he learned graphic design and composition. He left school after only 8 months and left, in 1969 , to learn photography on his own in San Francisco in the United States by working on advertising campaigns including those of the Levi’s brand for 2 years.
After another year in Brazil devoted to fashion photography, he returned to Switzerland and collaborated with the magazine Annabelle in Zurich.
Back in Lausanne, he opened his own studio and focused mainly on still life, fashion and portraiture. Maison Bongénie Grieder noticed her work and entrusted it with its poster campaigns for more than ten years.
He worked for Chopard, Hermès, Hublot  Baume and Mercier 3, Champagne Krug 4, Kredit Bank 5, Widder Jazz 6 or Ferretti yachts. He collaborated with the Swiss magazine Annabelle as well as Le Nouveau Quotidien and the magazine Vogue Germany.
Today he devotes most of his time to his personal work around nudes, portraits, landscapes and still lives which he presents in various galleries and museums in Europe.
In 1983, the Favre publishing house entrusted him with the creation of a book of portraits of Swiss personalities. From 1987 to 1997, Christian Coigny made multiple round trips between Europe and the United States to photograph more than 130 personalities from the cultural world seated on Vitra furniture. Among them, Jerry Lewis, Keith Haring, Jeanne Moreau, Roy Lichtenstein, Ringo Starr, Barbara Hendricks, Maurice Béjart, Jean Nouvel, Miles Davis, John Malkovich.
He exhibited in prestigious museums and galleries all over the world, published a few important books, and received noble prizes.


You know the famous sentence « a picture is worth a thousand words » nevertheless  I can clearly declare that the older I get the more difficult it becomes to make a good picture;  It’s hard to admit that the yearly crop of good picture reduces itself to one or two; not more.
I have quit commercial photography for some various reasons – first because digital really   became the only way to continue and the world of digital, computers, etc. was  for me impossible to penetrate; second – for fa ew years I had some great assistants who did all the work for me, like retouching, etc., etc.  Now the style of photography changed and I was not too interested in working with models, hairdressers, stylists.
I go to my studio every day, even if I don’t feel like it. I am like a  man in love with someone he hasn’t met yet, and stays at a street corner every day in case she would pass by. That’s exactly why I go every day to my studio to be there in case the creative lightning would strike. And it does work, but requires much patience, much courage to face deception , some times days of discouragement.
Now, I love the darkroom work and I like to think that my photos haven’t been retouched, because it’s impossible to retouch gelatine silver prints. And I like people to know that what they see is what I have seen, without retouching.


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