When New York-based photographer Clément Pascal moved into a new studio during the pandemic, he wanted it to feel drastically different from his previous spot. "I wanted this new studio to feel like it was my own world," he says. Pascal was upgrading from a shared space into his own private studio and wanted a fresh start. So, he left behind most of the old furniture and only brought along his beloved deep brown LC3, a simplistic daybed, and an angular olive-colored vintage chair. He suddenly had a new, blank space but wasn't exactly sure where to start.
Then he found a coffee table, and everything clicked into place.
The table is a winning combination of walnut, slate, and lacquered metal that sits unassumingly low to the ground. It's a 1980s Cassina production from the Milan-born designer Piero De Martini. The design is modest, not exactly a statement piece that one might consider building the entire room around, but for Pascal, it was perfect. The dark color was also an outlier for him; he doesn't usually like black. "There was something about the natural feeling of the stone," he explains. "Colorwise, I'm obsessed with olive," he says. "Any shades like green or beige or chartreuse. I've always gravitated towards that."
Pascal started to fill out the space with other pieces, wonky-looking wooden stools, Danish chairs, and an Isamu Noguchi floor lamp. (His preferred color palette is plain to see.) Most of it came from Craigslist, eBay, or Facebook Marketplace. "I'm constantly looking and always on the hunt," Pascal says. The result is a space full of homey wood and complementary tones. The focal point is a wonderfully curated lounge area for anyone stopping by. Photo studios tend to be cold and stark spaces, usually full of uncomfortable industrial furniture that doesn't exactly beg to be lounged in. Pascal's studio feels more like someone's home studio. And there has been an unexpected bonus—the stylish furniture ends up in plenty of his photography.
When Pascal was booked to shoot Succession star Nicholas Braun for The New York Times, the actor posed in his olive chair and kicked his foot up on one of the tiny stools. By chance, the wildly stylish curator and Gagosian director Antwaun Sargent took to the same chair. A lookbook for the covetable menswear brand Noah featured cameos from one of his lamps and other miscellaneous pieces that sit in the studio. "I think it's pretty funny that [my furniture] keeps showing up in my work," he says with a laugh. "It wasn't on purpose."
It may not have been on purpose, but the fact that Pascal's furniture blends in so well with his professional aesthetic isn't a coincidence. In many ways, his whole studio feels like an extension of his photography. His compositions are meticulously curated; the subject is always framed just so. There is an overarching visual language to much of his work, full of dreamy subdued tones, and shades of white are almost always softened until they slouch towards beige. Pascal's exacting eye extends from his camera to his furniture—it's all one of the same. His studio and the gorgeous pieces within it are undoubtedly his own world, which is certainly not by accident.