March 21st marked the end of The Hope Gallery's first artistic fundraising. For the first time, French photographer Nicolas Comment had offered a never-seen-before photograph to support the Fondation Abbé Pierre in its fight against substandard-housing. A total of 2,000 euros was collected both online and during two charity events organized at the Poltred Gallery, in Lyon.
A digital charity event
The fundraising process began on Thursday, February 21, with a private event at Poltred gallery in Lyon, where Nicolas Comment's Reverb exhibition was showcased from February 7th until March 30th. The photograph offered was displayed hidden on a screen, among his other works. To unveil it, participants were invited to make a donation starting from € 1, each euro revealing a fragment of the photograph. A digital animation allowed the revelation to the donors' amazement. At the end of this first charity event, The Hope Gallery had raised over € 600 for the Abbé Pierre Foundation.
The fundraising then continued online on The Hope Gallery website for a month. The digital experience attracted donors from all over France and around the world. Almost one thousand euros were collected within a week, leaving no more than 24% of the photography to reveal during the final evening.
The event ended on March 21st at Poltred Gallery during the signing of Nicolas Comment's new book. Finally, the goal of € 2,000 was reached at 9:15 pm triggering the revelation of the art work. As announced and in front of all participants, one donor, drawn by lot, won the 1/7 print of the artwork. The lucky winner, a resident of Luxembourg, will receive her prize very soon.
A devotion to photography
Nicolas Comment is one of the 2017 laureates of the Fondation des Treilles award. The photographer was able to enjoy a residency of artists throughout the year 2018. During this residency, Nicolas Comment realized the photography Dévotion, which he graciously offered to The Hope Gallery for its operation for the benefit of the Fondation Abbé Pierre. In the continuity of the works he has already devoted to Jean Cocteau, Bernard Lamarche-Vadel or Jack Kerouac and William S. Burroughs, Nicolas was this time inspired by the french poet Germain Nouveau. He followed the footsteps of the poet in Provence and the Mediterranean, from Pourrières (his native village) to Algiers through Italy, Spain and Lebanon.
The artist will present this work early 2020 during an exceptional exhibition to be represented in high places of culture such as the House of poetry or the National Library of France in Paris. Dévotion is only a foretaste of what the artist reserves for his fans. Nicolas Comment, who is also composer, is working on a new publication in the form of a CD book.
A successful first
This first experience is a success for The Hope Gallery's team, who is already planning its next operation. The Nicolas Comment x Fondation Abbé Pierre fundraising is continuing with the sale of twenty numbered copies of Dévotion drawn exclusively for the foundation (13 x 18 cm format). As a third of the profits will be donated to the charity, buying a copy of Dévotion is a unique opportunity for the public to get a preview and exclusive photograph of the latest series still unpublished by the artist, while participating in the fight against substandard-housing.