You’ll never guess where these photographs were taken

Thibault Brunet, Vice City

Thibault Brunet, Vice City

Thibault Brunet’s photos aren’t the large, vibrant, glossy photos that draw your eye across the gallery. They’re atmospheric landscapes and streetscapes, eerily deserted and monochromatic. They’re so unlike anything out there, yet somehow familiar. And so you approach.

Further inspection reveals a digital quality to them -- the hovering presence of pixels. And it’s at this point, when you’re still puzzling it out, that Valerie Cazin of Galerie Binôme approaches and lets you in on the secret -- and you lean in even closer.

Many kinds of people play video games, but not many play them like Thibault Brunet

Brunet's series, First Person Shooter

Brunet's series, First Person Shooter

His photographer’s sensibility led him to steer his avatar away from interactions, the “murder, blackmail, theft and escape, enemy liquidation, bombing…” or war-zone occupations, as he says.

Instead, he sought out the “forgotten spaces” of the games -- spaces void of any action beyond the crashing of digital waves upon the shore.

We see digital roads begging to be driven down, satellite receiver dishes peeking over the horizon, and contemporary buildings. In some photos, you can even see the glimmer of the virtual car’s headlights, where Brunet has pulled over to snap his photo.

That was his Vice City series. His more recent works, First Person Shooter and Landscape show clearly the high cost of war, whether etched on the faces of soldiers or on the surfaces of buildings -- all rendered with the shimmering, vaguely unreal quality of a digital moment in time.

Ask us about a day of digital art in Paris. Together, we'll discover the works of Thibault Brunet at Galerie Binôme, where they are currently exhibited in a group show on until March 1, 2014.