Between 2010 and 2011, French artist Charles Fréger traveled to eighteen European countries, from Italy to Poland, Scotland to the Czech Republic, in search of the Wild Man. A centuries-old, legendary figure, the Wild Man continues to be an important symbol of transition associated with festivals that mark the cyclical patterns of life: the changing of the seasons, special religious holidays, rites of passage, life and death. In full-length portraits, Fréger photographs celebrants dressed in traditional costumes crafted from layers of animal skins, local plants, bones and antlers, which visually transform the masqueraders into a wooly bear, a long-horned goat, a demon or man of straw.
The Wilder Mann series explores man's complex relationship with nature and how vestiges of these costumes and past rituals continue to influence contemporary life, even in the digital age.
Charles Fréger lives and works in Rouen, France.
The Wilder Mann is currently on exhibit at Yossi Milo Gallery, New York.
April 11 - May 18, 2013
© Charles Fréger, Courtesy Yossi Milo Gallery, New York
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