Pierre Crocquet (b. 1971) was a South African photographer who left behind a significant archive of black and white photographs. Born in Cape Town and raised in the small mining town of Klerksdorp, Crocquet only pursued a career of photography in his later years. After moving to London in 1996 to work as a qualified chartered accountant – work that he hated – he switched lanes and enrolled at the London College of printing in 1999. From there, he returned home to South Africa in 2001 and began documenting life in Africa. One year on he had released his first book, Us (Bell-Roberts, 2002), and was commissioned for more work and subsequent book releases by the likes of South African Airways and Standard Bank.
His second book, On Africa Time (Bell-Roberts, 2003), featured photographs from destinations around Africa, his third, Sound Check (Bell-Roberts, 2005), about South African and visiting international jazz musicians, and his fourth Enter/Exit (Hatje Cantz, 2008), about Karatara, a small, isolated settlement on the outskirts of the Knysna forests. With this book, Crocquet began to explore elements of human identity, part of a new obsession. He later dove deeper in regards to subject matter with his fifth and final book, Pinky Promise (Hatje Cantz & Fourthwall Books, 2011), shining light on childhood sexual abuse with stories from both victims and perpetrators.
Crocquet received success for his works with worldwide exhibitions and photography awards, but sadly passed away in 2013 at the tender age of 42. After years of immersive projects, the work had begun to take a creative toll on the artist and his death can only be described as tragic. The work that he created had global themes, not just African, focusing on aesthetics of human life and psyche, with a sense of timelessness. He definitely left behind a legacy that one can be proud of.
All photos by Pierre Crocquet de Rosemond, courtesy of Jeannine Du Venage
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