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Ivailo & Denis
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  • Size : 30X40
    Edition de 3 ( + 1 AP)
    Print on sale : N°1/3 : 990€

  • Format : 65X80
    Edition de 8 (+ 1 AP)

    Print on sale : N°1/8 : 1400€

  • Inkjet print under control of the author

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Ivailo & Denis

Samuel Lugassy

bulgarie Enfants kids lutte Wrestling

About the image

Image from a reportage by Samuel in keeping with his work on identity. He started this work with a series of portraits of people from the Eastern European countryside. He then went on to concentrate on two very popular sports in Bulgaria. Gymnastics and wrestling, two sports which, along with weightlifting, the nation excelled in for many years, particularly before the fall of the Eastern block. Bulgaria accumulated medals and titles and today’s youth carry the inheritance of yesterday’s champions. The feature was produced over a month in April 2013, and Samuel went back to exhibit the work in a small room at the beginning of 2015. Ivailo and Denis pose outside Plovdiv training centre.

Samuel Lugassy's account

It was the same approach for each image: taking the sportsmen and women away from their training mats or gym apparatus during or just after training and getting them to pose naturally (without reproducing the gestures of their sport). This often slightly unsettled them, especially when they were still wearing their kit and had to pose outdoors. It often led to a tension in the body and gaze, a desire to pose as a sports person, even out of their normal context. This was the case with Ivailo and Denis who I put in an unlikely place for wrestlers. They are wearing their kit, in trainers on wet ground, outside their comfort zone. I have deprived them of what they train so hard for, the gestures of their sport. So the only thing left is their gaze, both sustained and worried, with which to express the determination that inhabits them.

Jean-Denis chose it

This photo was awarded first prize in the Portrait category at the Sportfolio International Festival in Narbonne. I was a member of the jury and I have to say that discussions didn’t last long. You could totally miss this photo, but if you linger over it and get drawn into it, it is not easy to walk away from. It grabs you. The backdrop is unlikely but rich, the position of the subjects, their expressions and gaze… So many things make for a well-constructed and powerful image.