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Laurent Garbit photographic expo at Agnès B. made possible by DuPont™ SentryGlas® Expressions™ decorative interlayers

Admired French photographer and artist Laurent Garbit used SentryGlas® Expressions™ decorative interlayers for panoramic landscape exhibits for an Agnès B. photographic exhibition that debuted in Marseille in late 2003.

Berfack Kinken's prettiest holiday snaps
"Berfack Kinken's prettiest holiday snaps" by Laurent Garbit, displayed at Agnès B. high-fashion clothing stores worldwide.

Press attaché at Agnès B.'s Paris HQ, Stéphane Guyonnet, confirmed: "From a technical point of view the images, as well as the way they are presented, represent something utterly new. Each panoramic photo (up to 270 cm long by 50 cm in height) is actually made up of more than 30 digital photos that are "melted together" in length on the computer to make up a unified whole. The prints are then laminated into glass using SentryGlas® Expressions™ technology and hung, due the strength of the laminated glass, using just three drilled point fixings with aluminum clips."

"State-of-the-art panoramic photography made possible", says Garbit
The exhibition is teasingly entitled "Berfack Kinken's prettiest vacation snaps." Kinken is a fictional character invented by Laurent Garbit. In an imaginary conversation between the photographer and 'Kinken', Garbit asks: "The way these photos were mounted represent something pretty new technically – could you tell us about that?"

Panoramic photographs
Panoramic photographs
Panoramic photographs
Panoramic photographs of 270 cm in length, mounted at the exhibition's opening in Marseille, France in October 2003.
'Kinken' responds: "Yes, this can truly be called state of the art panoramic photography. I mean, these images could not have been created and mounted 15 years ago. We needed a printing method that was utterly new. DuPont has invented a new photographic printing procedure whereby digital photography can be expressed within laminated glass at outstandingly high quality. The glass industry is really helping artists and designers today with new and innovative ideas. And glass is one of the most fashionable materials in contemporary urban architecture. So I guess these photos are like suspended windows, really, showing you a certain view of the world."

Several of the photos feature a solitary man looking directly and almost questioningly, at the camera. He standing against a backdrop of stunningly beautiful, wild and untouched coastline, south of Sénegal.

Laurent Garbit told said: "When you can show a 180 degree landscape view to such perfection It's both surreal and breathtaking; it takes language to its ultimate limit, which is silence. I hope that my photographs lead visitors to a reflective silence that moves them. My goal was that the simplicity of the photos, and the solitary nature of the scenery, should make people reflect on our world as it has become today, and on life in general. The title of the exhibition is ironic because contemporary art has moved far away from "pretty" vacation snaps where everyone is smiling happily. Most people today no longer feel that the world is like that.

"Using digital photography, Photoshop software, Quick Time computer movie technology, standard photographic editing techniques - and of course SentryGlas® Expressions™ technology - we were able to fix these souvenirs or memories of a fictional character into 4 mm thick laminated glass to make them permanent.

"What is new here is the length of the panoramic photography; 270 cm in length is breaking new boundaries in photographic display and mounting these images in the glass was only possible by using SentryGlas® Expressions™ technology combined with the strength of laminated glass. The effect of these 180-degree views is actually quite magical. The print reproduction quality is amazingly good and the photos are even magnified and made more attractive by being laminated into glass. We selected a translucent white background because the photos will be wall-mounted in various Agnès B. stores worldwide."

First SentryGlas® Expressions™ application in France
The photos were laminated by glass specialist V2S Vitrages de Sécurité du Sud of Narbonne, France. Sales manager Christian Vignozzi said: "We were proud to have completed the first application of
SentryGlas® Expressions™ in France. The use of SentyGlas® Expressions™ has really enhanced and shown the work of M. Garbit to full advantage in several ways. First, the laminated glass protects these art photos, which are going to be transported throughout the world and exposed in the setting of fashion stores, where they could be damaged more easily, perhaps, than in regular art galleries. Second, SentryGlas® Expressions™ technology enabled the team of artist, glass laminator and DuPont to render these amazingly beautiful photographs with exceptionally accurate color tone reproduction due to the use of ink-jet printing technology; the pigmentation is very good. There is no way this job could have been executed using a traditional technology like screen-printing.

"From this experience we can testify that SentryGlas® Expressions™ is an utterly new and incredible technology. We know that it is the only way we could have laminated M. GarbIt's photographic images into the glass at the high resolution (1,440 dpi) and high quality required by the artist.

"Specialists from DuPont came and explained the basic technology to us. Then M. Garbit e-mailed his images to DuPont, which sent him samples to check and modify as necessary. It was particularly challenging to get sharp resolution since each of the seven photos are made up of 30 digital photos in order to get the extraordinary length of the resulting panoramic view. DuPont then shipped us the PVB, printed with the photographs and cut to size. An additional challenge is that we had to use laminated tempered glass for added strength because of the three holes drilled into the top of the frames for the hanging. We are proud of the results and we believe that M. Garbit and Agnès B. are both highly satisfied.

"Much faster than screen printing"

Art photo
French art photographer Laurent Garbit.

"I see great potential for this technology for building façades and interior design, especially now that our architectural customers are asking us increasingly for solutions for decorative glass.
SentryGlas® Expressions™ is a great solution for these architects. It is completely different from screen printing because you have an infinitely better (higher resolution, higher quality) rendering of the image, with many more colors, the process is very clean and It's using ink-jet printing quality. You have much greater flexibility for smaller (e.g. "one-off") jobs like these individual photos of M. Garbit, and the production process for the laminator, once the digital images were finally approved by the artist, was much faster than anything I have experienced with the screen printing process.

"Another significant advantage of SentryGlas® Expressions™ versus screen printing is that high quality images of the photographs as they would actually look, laminated into glass, could be e-mailed to all the parties concerned. We could view the end result in advance and the artist could make corrections by e-mail before the production process started. With screen-printing you only see mistakes after the job is completed – and then It's too late!

"We have been producing laminated glass incorporating DuPont products for 13 years, since the formation of our company, but what made this job special is that we were incorporating the work of an art photographer into the glass. I see SentryGlas® Expressions™ technology as opening up even great possibilities for the expansion of our architectural glass business."

The future: more photos used in building façades?
Photographer Laurent Garbit continued: "I am very interested in working more with architects using SentryGlas® Expressions™, for example to incorporate graphic design into the façades of buildings. It could be a contemporary way to renew the ornamental beauty of architecture. In the past, the results of this kind of job, using screen-printing, were sometimes disappointing because they lacked finesse. Now that ink jet printing technology can be incorporated the possibilities are endless!"

VS2's Vignozzi agreed: "Previously, glass was simply a way of filling up a space or hole in a building façade – to keep draughts out and to let in light. Then architects started using it in the 1980s and 1990s to protect the inhabitants of buildings from solar build-up and for security purposes. Now the trend is to use decorative architectural glass in both interior and exterior applications."

Agnès B.'s Guyonnet summed up: "The press and the public know that our Parisian fashion house has an excellent reputation for mounting artistically and technically innovative photographic exhibits as part of the "Point d'Ironie" (Ironic Views) series, whereby we have hosted over 30 of the world's greatest photographers' works at our stores over the past few years. Thanks to SentryGlas® Expressions™ decorative laminated glass technology, the Laurent Garbit exhibition is no exception to that rule."

Speed and flexibility
DuPont™ SentryGlas® Expressions™ decorative interlayers are digitally printed in full-color using patent-pending, high definition ink jet and PVB interlayer technology. The result is high quality imagery and design textures in safety glass, with remarkably reduced, design-to-design production time, increased flexibility in image customization and continuous tone control. The technology is available on industry-proven PVB interlayers, ranging from white to clear.

SentryGlas® Expressions™ technology enables textures, company logos and images to be incorporated into a range of architectural glass applications such as entry doors, overhead glazing, balustrades and office partitions –while also conferring the many benefits of laminated glass including safety, security, excellent outdoor weatherability, protection from UV rays, noise reduction and solar/thermal control.

Custom-designed architectural glass with more than a million shades and nuances of color can be made using SentryGlas® Expressions™ decorative interlayers, with digital printing precision up to 1,440 dots per inch (dpi). Complex images such as color photographs can be reproduced with sensational effect.

Laminators, architects and designers send their original artwork to DuPont as transparencies or as high-resolution graphics made with software like Photoshop, Illustrator or Quark Express. DuPont then prints the proofs, which are then sent back to the customer for approval. Following approval, a digitally printed interlayer is shipped to the glass laminator for manufacture according to the customer's functional specifications.

Laurent Garbit is an art photographer of worldwide renown. Agnès B. is a leading high fashion store chain with boutiques in all continents of the world. VS2 is a French architectural glass laminator founded in 1990 specializing in both security and decorative laminated glass.

DuPont Glass Laminating Solutions provides materials, technology and services in support of safer, quieter and more resource-efficient buildings and vehicles. The business offers the glass industry's widest range of interlayer choices including unique high strength and visual design solutions. DuPont Glass Laminating Solutions sales are reported as part of DuPont's US$ 5 billion Performance Materials growth platform