Lucien Clergue (Arles, 1934 – Nîmes, 2014) was a self-taught French photographer.
He was the founder of the Rencontres d’Arles, which over the years became an internationally renowned venue for photography. He was the first photographer elected to the Académie des Beaux-Arts and was friends with Picasso, Cocteau, and the renowned gypsy guitarist Manitas de Plata. Lucien Clergue refused to compromise; he wanted to answer to his own convictions and aspirations. The artist embraced the literal meaning of the word “photography”: etymologically, it is “writing with light.” Photography should no longer be perceived as an illustration of text or a memory of a moment; instead, it is a language in its own right.