It always good news when a new photography gallery opens. Galleriest Gwen Lafage opened Carte Blanch Gallery in San Francisco. The mission at Carte Blanche is made up of four simple principles:
Buy art. Make history.
Forget collecting. We’re connecting.
Photography for everyone.
On the web, and on the ground.
Born in Brittany, France, Gwen Lafage received a masters from a French business school before enjoying a 10-year career with international communications and advertising agencies in London and Paris. Over the years she developed two passions: world travel and photography. In 2010, she dedicated herself to helping emerging photographers and made photography a central part of her life. She now lives in San Francisco and is realizing her dream through the Carte Blanche gallery and bookstore.
When did you get really interested in photography?
I’ve always liked photography. I worked in advertising for 10 years and I had many opportunities to work with photographers organizing photo shoots for my clients. Outside of work I enjoyed taking pictures and sharing with the community online – that’s where I discovered fantastic work from relatively unknown but very talented photographers.
My passion for photography really blossomed while I was traveling around the world a few years ago. When I returned from that life-changing trip, I decided to make a big change and pursue my passion for photography full-time.
What do you enjoy so much about photography?
I love photography because it can convey beauty, emotion, and a strong message at the same time. Although it’s considered a high art, it is also accessible to everyone. Whether you visit a gallery, flip through a photo book, or share your family pictures on Facebook, photography is a part of your life.
Why have you decided to open a gallery?
While exploring photography online I found a talented, energetic young generation of international photographers whose work was rarely represented in traditional galleries. I decided I wanted to create a space specially for them, that rethinks what it means to be a gallery in the same way they are rethinking what it means to be a photographer. Coming from outside the traditional fine-art community myself, I also wanted to give everyone the opportunity to own art; I wanted to help people bring photography into their everyday lives and to help photographers connect with their audience in real life.
Why San Francisco?
When I moved here end of 2010, I knew immediately that this was where I wanted to start my new project. The creative energy of the city, its enthusiasm for art, its growing community of photographers and photo lovers: Everything about it felt right.
So what is exactly Carte Blanche?
Carte Blanche is exactly what the name indicates: the strong desire to give carte blanche to talented photographers, to give them the opportunities to show beautiful photography projects, being a series or a book. Carte Blanche is about discovering the world through photography. It’s an online gallery open to the world, it’s a gallery and bookstore in San Francisco to help the bay area the community and its visitors discover photographers, projects, books from everywhere. So welcome to our website — we hope we’ll also see you at our gallery and bookstore in San Francisco very soon!
Artist of the month, Wang Yuanling featuring the project, River basins #3
Wang Yuanling’s images of his home town, Chongqing, tell the story not only of that place, but also of daily life across China.