François Dischinger is the Loki of the photography world. He’s a visual mischief-maker, a shape shifter, a trickster. He sees his subjects through a singularly idiosyncratic lens, and he stubbornly resists any effort to temper or tame his vision. Just ask any of the collaborators who’ve worked with him. Instead of predictable beauty shots, he reaches for oddball details, oblique angles, eccentric framing—anything that allows him to penetrate the façades of his subjects in order to arrive at something more profound and personal. The images he conjures are an invitation to peer through the looking glass of his own fertile imagination. Francois doesn’t just want to show you a piece of architecture; he wants to take you through it, around it, below it, and over it. He wants you to feel it.
Consider his tumescent, fish-eye views of Versailles. The camera itself seems to have swollen to capture the mise-en-scene of eighteenth-century French hauteur. And then there are his pictures of modern masterworks by the likes of John Lautner, Edward Durell Stone, and Paul Rudolph. They restore a visceral sense of strangeness and wonder to radical design outliers that have been domesticated by over-exposure. Even his sexy, centerfold photograph of Mies van der Rohe's Farnsworth House—perfectly straightforward in composition—bounces into another dimension thanks to the super-saturated rendering of the green lawn. Conversely, Francois often leaches color from his pictures, using the palest of washes to suggest a mood, trace a particular geometry, or simply mess with our sense of time and place.
These are his tricks, his sleights of hand and eye, his irresistible come-on to share the fantasy.