Photographer Eddy Van Gestel lives and works in Belgium and Africa. He gained international fame through his coffee table books ‘A Continent in the Picture’, ‘Africa XL’, ‘To the Rhythm of the Sun, ‘Perla Nera’, ‘Pure Black’, ‘Ebony’, ‘Signs of Life’, ‘Just Imagine’ and ‘Opening Doors’.
Over the years his style has become more serene and restrained, stripped of any excess, complex perspectives and difficult angles. To him photography is a quest for a magical and mysterious world, where there’s a very fine line between reality and impression. And though his pictures have that unmistakable “touch of Africa”, they exude a universal atmosphere so they transcend the ethnic photography category. His work is defined by shapes, lines and structures, more so than by the scenery itself. Whether he is shooting portraits, wildlife, still lifes or landscapes, all his pictures have one thing in common: they draw their graphic strength from their simplicity.
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“Inconspicuous and apparently trivial subjects or even downright ugly objects can possess a unexpected beauty when seen in a different light. More often than not, the subjects of his pictures are subservient to their hidden, expressive strength. By using the right kind of film, composition, lighting and processing , I try to do justice to this strength. I want to move the viewer, without too much fuss, as if he were enjoying a glass of the finest wine, or admiring the lines of a building or the curves of a beautiful woman.”
The result is a collection of highly decorative pictures. Eddy Van Gestel’s work decidedly adds something to the interiors it adorns, in a generous way, without being overwhelming.