Charles Petit 

Green and Cars 

Green and Cars

About the artist

Charles Petit’s eagerly searching eye travels from Paris to Los Angeles. The taste for photography repeats itself across generations of the Petit family; from a grand-mother who was drawn into photography following a serious injury whilst she was a nurse during the war 14-18, to the father working at "OPL", manufacturer of the mythic Leica, to the son, Charles. On demand and of his own volition, Charles lists the names of his cameras, as if he is talking about his travel companions: the Kodak box, the Foca, the Zénith, right up to the Nikon, bought in 1976 with the money received from selling a book by Man Ray, that he had randomly discovered whilst wandering around abandoned buildings. This latter could stand as the god father in the Petit family tree.
1976: Charles Petit reached the age of 18 and began to explore the streets of Paris. Through the course of his travels, he also discovered London and Vienna. He became the artistic director of Metal Hurlant, and at the same time, in 1984, began to use colour and Kodachrome, for which he would develop a particular passion that would thrive under the Los Angeles sun. Charles Petit has in his head and in his drawers thousands of photographs. Fragments of life, tightly framed; excerpts of poetry, generously shared.


What kind of a photographer are you?
A wandering, dissatisfied Saturday and Sunday photographer.

As a photographer, what would you say your obsessions are?
Order rather than disorder – a quest for mysterious harmony.

Old ladies in flowery dresses or old Californian automobiles with flashy-coloured bodywork… you often shoot close up, as if your eye was drawn mainly by patterns and lines?
I was diagnosed as near-sighted at the age of 8. Before then, I believed the world was a blur beyond two meters. So I probably developed a taste for close things, and a fear of the mountains. Which is also why to me, Los Angeles is a dream and New York a nightmare: I’m made for bungalows much more than for skyscrapers. As for the patterns, it’s probably a leftover from my past as an art director. Your pictures are categorized by decade and by city; these extensive series are like travelogues of your wanderings, but are so abundant that they far exceed the private sphere and reveal the portrait of an age.

Do your images from the 1970s and 1980s, for instance, now have a different meaning for you? Do you still sometimes discover new ones, or spot an unexpected detail in them?
I do sometimes actually rediscover images I had forgotten about. And subjects have become scarcer, except in the most chic areas of Paris, which have resisted standardization. Or in a few Italian coastal towns. I went in Venice three years ago: I felt uncomfortable, confused by the sheer size of the Palazzos, their dizzying dimensions… I booked a room in the Lido, and all of a sudden everything was fine: my photographic subjects were all in the right place, just waiting for me.

Limited edition, numbered and signed. AD of the set by Mynameis.

Selected shows and awards

Streets, Galerie Intervalle, Paris, France, 2014

Selected publications


& order

Charles Petit 
Green and Cars


Technical information

10 original c-prints on satin paper - Limited edition of 50, signed and numbered on the back by the artist. the set includes a canvas-covered, silk-screen printed box containing a biographical presentation of the artist.


16 x 22,7 cm, Edition of 50 320.00 €

By the same artist

Charles Petit

By the same curator

Art Ligue Hyper collector