“Homme Oiseau” | 2017.08.16
The Birdman of Pompidou is a Beaubourg fixture; regularly found meditating amongst his feathered friends, seemingly lost in his own world - which happens to exist in the midst of thousands of pedestrians in this heavily-trafficked tourist zone of the 4eme.
The sidewalks are lined with hucksters, artists, musicians, bubble sculptors, and street performers all desperately vying for eyeballs and Euros....he wants none of it, and thus naturally attracts more attention than anyone; a curiosity rather than a showman.
Over time, his novelty erodes and he becomes another colorful piece of the background -- like the nearby sculptures in la Fontaine Stravinsky. My eyes always find him but I rarely think to shoot, partly because he feels cliché...partly out of deference to the private feel of his very public avian ritual.
There was something about this moment, however – specifically the intensely subtle interaction with two rogue pigeons who’d dared to mount his cart. They must have been new and needed to learn the rules...had he simply shooed them, a hundred pair of wings would have taken flight in a feathery tempest ruining his nest, so a quick cross-species paternal glare did the trick; reminding them who's in charge whlie convincing us that there’s more than meets the eye.