In his late teens, Lucien Clergue photographs bird carcasses, dead bulls and cemeteries. When he presents his work to Pablo Picasso, the artist promptly becomes friends with the young photographer and helps him launch his career. There is a reason for such darkness, the French photographer has just lost his mother whom he had accompanied and looked after during a long illness. Yet, one day, Lucien Clergue discovers one of Edward Weston’s nudes and immediately decides to exalt beauty through young and voluptuous bodies: life must win over death. From 1957, he explores the nude genre, depicting lascivious bodies often associated to the sea and the beach, curves confounding themselves with nature and sculpted by light and shadows - playing in particular with stripes. And because he now favors vitality and warmth over death, he closely observes the gypsies of his luminous Southern France, people that exult with intensity, with their dances, their talking hands and their mischievous children.