André Villiers is a french photographer born in 1930.
In 1947, while having a bone tuberculosis, he was hospitalized in Vallauris where he stood for 8 years. It's during that period that he started photography and began in 1952 to make his first experiments in dark room with photographs of Vallauris and its inhabitants. It's also during this period that he met Pablo Picasso who offered him his first camera in march 1953 . André Villiers made many portraits of the painter. After becoming close friends the 2 artists worked together on hundreds of images based on photographic experiments. This work leaded in 1962 Heinz Berggruen to edit a book called Diurnes (Daytime), based on a selection of 30 of these photographs. The images were accompanied by an original text of Jacques Prévert.
Beside Picasso, André Villiers also shot many important artist of his time including Le Corbusier, Salvador Dali, Joan Miro, Chagall, Jean Cocteau, Léo Ferré...
In 1970 the artist started to work on photography without camera, making negatives himself out of pieces of tracing paper. This series was based on experimentation with shadows and transparencies on which he used different emulsion technics like solarization and jets of developer. André Villiers worked then with Michel Butor on text to edit the book Pliages d'Ombres (Folding Shadows).
From the mid-1950s he began experimenting other mediums including carvings and an important set of paintings on cardboard, as well as a set of paper cuts works.
Significant collections of his photographic work can be found at Nicephorus-Niepce Museum in Chalon-sur-Saône and the Museum of Photography in Charleroi in Belgium.
The city of Mougins in the Alpes Maritimes has honored this photographer with the creation of a Museum of Photography bearing his name.
Since July 14, 2006, André Villers has been a Chevalier des arts et des lettres.