The watchwords here are order, framing and rigorous composition. In his photographs as well as in his minimalist, almost Spartan lodgings. Yet Olivier is a man overflowing with a sharp brand of sensitivity fuelled by his 360 degree vision of the world, of men and women. Physically, he’s a lot like lanky Britt in The Magnificent Seven (played by James Coburn), albeit without the dust on his denim shirt.
For Garros, the blade is his Leica, obviously - and he uses the edges of his blocked-off viewfinder like a scalpel. It’s hard to think of a photo-reporter so keenly aware of lines, shapes, surfaces and the myriad contortions made possible by the two-dimensional, black and white compression of our coloured and three-dimensional world. The human - even the social - are not obscured, however, as evidenced by his work on demonstrations, particularly those of 1995. He is also a portrait photographer with a capacity to obtain from his models, especially female ones, an emotionally intense presence that is almost unsettling.
Garros has also excelled in a seldom-practised photographic exercise, that of literary illustration. With Théophile Gautier’s España and Michel Déon’s Le Rendez-vous de Patmos, he has delivered two highly successful examples in a genre rarely ventured into by today’s publishers.
All at once a photo reporter, a studio photographer, a director of photography with several films to his credit, and a video artist, Olivier is a humble character who never flaunts his goods. Never seen in the socialite circles of today’s photography, he simply follows his own path. In a straight line.