Two days … building the exhibit

exhibition, Personal Pictures

two days to the exhibit in my own space.

 

you are all very welcome of course:

A little exciting it is.

from the 4500 invitations I received from my print shop (www.degrotearend.be) about 3500 have been dropped into local mailboxes in Ronse.

My book ‘LANDSCAPES – and other things that jump into my camera’ arrived yesterday. It smells fresh ink, but it looks great. I’m very pleased with the results and the selection of images I’ve made. The book ‘WOMEN’ I had from the previous exhibit stays unchanged

Drinks have been bought, but I have no idea how many people I should expect. I heard some rumours about people who were saying they would come, I have a Facebook event that some people confirmed on, but will it be 50-100-200?

The weather announces great, 21°C – 23°C is much more than we could expect here in Belgium around half October. I feel lucky!

The exhibit space is ready, the frames have been hung (without prints for now, I work with front-open frames that contain a support for the prints within. I will hang the mounted prints in the frames today. That means … all but one … Koert (my printer – laminator – finisher) called me last Friday that the largest print for the exhibit had suffered a fault during the mounting process (mount on Dibond). It is a landscape print of 50x150cm. So he had to order a new Dibond board to redo the print this week. No news till now. … keep the fingers crossed. By the way, I’m very pleased by his work! (www.fift.be)

Lighting has been fitted as well, called my brother in law (who is an electrician) for some help, he offered me a couple of up-lighters and smaller spots to add to the existing light in the room.

things that need to be done:

finish the digital presentation, set up a monitor for viewing, hang the prints, … relax a bit 😉

some impressions of the space preparations

Christian Coigny – Argentique

Analog, exhibition, Nude

It is becoming a bad habit of mine, visiting an exhibit at the very last moment.

So unfortunately again, this exhibit is over (till april 30th 2017), but he will be on show again in Brussels, really soon

Last Saturday I had the immense pleasure of visiting the exhibit of Christian Coigny in Tournai, Belgium. The exhibit was hosted by Event Particulier (www.eventparticulier.com) in the wonderful location of ‘Domaine de Graux’, where the organisation runs an event and exhibit centre since about two years from now.

Although I knew the work of Christian since quite some time (to be seen at http://christiancoigny.com) It has been a very joyful experience to see his prints in real life. The size of the prints varies from I think about 30×45 cm, over some larger 40×60 cm prints to about 2 m in size. All except for the largest sizes are genuine analog prints. Some 80 works were on display, all but 2 were black and white. Editions vary from a number of 30 for the smalles works, to 10 for the largest prints.

Both his ‘nature morte’s’ and his nudes are fantastic in terms of context, composition and light, and show an absolute mastery in all aspects involved. I was very charmed with the seemingly simple contents of the artworks, and with the almost out of this world serenity they express.

I decided to buy the book, and as this was the last weekend of the exhibit and the artist was present, I had it signed by Mr. Coigny. We had a short but interesting and very enjoyable discussion about photography, about men photographing nude women, and our (especially my) doubts and motivations. Very inspiring and interesting. We laughed a lot.

One quote I will gladly share with you:

“No matter if you know where you are going or not, you will eventually get there!”

Christian Coigny.

a portrait of the master:

Timeless beauty – exhibit – Larger than life

exhibition

A couple of weeks ago I visited the exhibit Timeless beauty, in the Gallo-Romeins museum in Tongeren (Belgium). I visited it together with my wife Nathalie, I think a female look at things helps having a less biased view.

The exhibit combines antique (2000 years old) texts with images from the late Marc Lagrange, who  died last year, in an unfortunate accident with a golf cart. I have been a fan of a large portion of Marc Lagrange’s work for a longer period of time,  he has made a large collection of sensual images in which he depicts women as strong, independent, adorable, glorious creatures.

I would describe the exhibit as ‘Larger than life’ in several ways:

  1. The images are presented literally larger than life, impressive large scale prints, some filling an entire wall, where the image of the women becomes even more overwhelming. A total of about 50 images are used in this exhibit, mostly images that have previously been published in Marc Lagrange’s fine art books.

2. The images are all linked with old Roman and Greek texts, (Roughly 100 BC till AD 100) so carefully chosen you can hardly imagine that the text has not been used  as a direct guideline to create the image. Some texts are literally visualised in the image that comes with it. An amazing search for coincident content has been made here. This makes 2000 year old texts revive trough the visual work of Lagrange.

3. All images have been linked to archeological findings related to the subject of beauty, to the deliberate actions of early age women to modify their looks for the sake of beauty. Both visualised trough objects, but also in video format, in which the techniques at hand at that era are demonstrated.

4. A selection of interviews of day to day women is giving a broader contemporary view on physical beauty. How it influences our lives today, how it is perceived, how women (and men) strive (or not) to achieve it, how decisions of medical/surgical manner are considered (or not) to be valuable, desirable in the pursuit to beauty … interesting hearing, straight from the heart of the people talking.

It shows that beauty standards are not just from our modern times, but that it has been present for a very long period. I have found it very interesting also to see how beauty was also very clearly age related, with a shift from pure physical beauty at a younger age, towards a more mature, innate beauty from a certain age.

As the subject of feminine beauty is often present in my work, I have enjoyed my visit a lot. It is wider oriented than just the male vision on female beauty and that is a good thing. It has a selection of images by Marc Lagrange that I love a lot. (I’m not very fond of his latest, more staged work).

And the best thing, you can still visit it, till june 30th 2017.

More info: Timeless Beauty

Saul Leiter – Retrospective – Antwerp Fomu 28.10.16 – 29.01.17

exhibition, Uncategorized

one thing to start with, I’m very sorry this exhibit is over. I have really enjoyed it (again on one of the very last days of the exhibit – I tend to postpone exhibition visits till the moment I can’t  any further delay it or I’ll mis it) so there’s no way you can see it here in Belgium anymore, sorry for that.

I have enjoyed the exhibit very much. It gave an overview of Saul Leiters’ work both commercial and non commercial, presented in the humble way that Leiter proves to be in the documentary movie (In no great hurry – 2012) that was made of him shortly before he died in 2013. Small paintings, small prints, and a vast number of images. I kind of missed a clear structure in the exhibit, but that might be purposely related to his way of working, and his total disorder in his huge archive.

Over a period of about 60 years he documented street life in the south-east part of New York, in a very particular way. He had moved into New York mainly to start as a painter, and this approach is clearly visible in his work. Deconstructed impressionist frames form the setting of a lot of his photographs, in which often a single person is the only immediately recognizable feature of the image. Often there is no figurative element at all, and all is fuzzy or blurred and an impressionist vision on the city life is all that’s left. Remarkably colorful, even in winter settings, he manages to make his images a delight to look at. Often the content of his images is captured between several layers of reflections, mirrored images, damp-dripping glass surfaces where you have to work your way around as a viewer.

Saul has become famous only after a very long period of working, and it seems he never fully realized the quality and the impact of his work. In this perspective I would gladly recommend viewing the full documentary ‘In no great hurry – 13 lessons in life with Saul Leiter’ as it offers an in depth encounter and it is a testimony to humility and unpretentiousness I have seldom seen in an artist of this scale. Inspirational at least.

You can see an extensive selection of his work here:

Howard Greenberg Gallery

another source of info:

https://www.artsy.net/artist/saul-leiter

thanks for reading,

ludwig

Helmut Newton – Retrospective

erotic, exhibition, Nude, portrait

FOAM in Amsterdam had a retrospective exhibit on Helmut Newton, fashion, art, fetish and erotic photographer from the last century. I wanted to visit it, and it ran till september 4th, so yesterday we went for a visit, unfortunately for you, my readers, its over.

I had an autobiography on Helmut Newton since a couple of years now I guess, and I quit reading it for I got a little annoyed, even irritated by the rather arrogant, selfish, non woman-friendly narratives in this book. (Helmut Newton Autoportrait, by Robert Laffont).

Anyway, I still love his work, his way of depicting strong, beautiful women, and his way of combining fashion photography with daring eroticism, both implied and explicit.

The exhibit had a fine collection of prints, starting with his 60’s fashion work (that made me think a lot about a long time favourite of mine: Jean-Loup Sieff), over the more erotically oriented images in his long collaboration with Vogue, his personal work with protheses and nude women, his impressive ‘big nudes’ and finally his extensive list of portraits of famous people.

Especially interesting I found the film montage, made by his wife June, which gave a very intimate insight in the life and working atmosphere in which Newton, his wife and his entourage moved along. Not the spoiled kid he talks about in his biography, but a rather playful, humorist, (hard) working, focused photographer. It surprised me that some people started sniggering when he was instructing his models into a certain pose, and that made me think about how little is known about this kind of photography, this kind of dialogue between photographer and model, to people who are not part of this world. We discussed about it (Nathalie and me) and she decided she should film me when I’m working with my models. – GOOD IDEA! –

I was rather pleased to see so many people visit this exhibition (Sunday being the last day might have been a factor) and especially to see so many women around. This makes me think the perception of Helmut Newton being an ‘objectifier’ of women is not a general one.

His work is inspirational to me, it has long been underestimated from the photographic art scene, and it probably still is, it was daring in its time, and it still is daring to tackle the nude subject in our times, so not much has changed. There’s a lot of work to do, and its a tough job, but someone has got to do it, so let’s get going. 🙂

some impressions, © of the depicted images is Helmut Newton of course.

HN01 HN02 HN03

Thank you for reading,

ludwig

 

Be your own Master

beauty, Personal Pictures, personal tips & tricks, Tips and Tricks

In my evening classes photography, I often am confronted with students wrestling to make final selection decisions. Either for class-related photography, or for their own assignments or private photo experiments.

I had an interesting discussion about this last Thursday, with one of my groups. The question that came up was: “Do you have your clients, in my case my models or my corporate clients, take part in the final selection of delivered images?” (I do corporate photography jobs too, see www.renderhouse.eu ).

I do have to admit that the selection process is a difficult task for most photographers, including me. I have made selections for three upcoming exhibits the last couple of weeks, and that still is a time consuming task. I have a quick and efficient selection method for filtering my shoots to a workable number of images, using positive discrimination as a main tool. However, this still leaves a decent number of images that results in a representative number of finished images (Usually about 10 images per shoot-hour when I shoot digitally).

A more difficult task is to further cut down the number of ‘keeper’ images over several shoots, or even more so the very limited number of exposed images in an exhibit, spanning your entire body of work.

The task being already difficult if you do it on your own, becomes even more complex when you put two personalities together, each having their own ideas and preferences when it comes to image selection. A customer often can’t decide on which of two images to keep, not talking about giving him a dozen images from which he has to pick one.

That’s why I have concluded that for me, I am my own master, I decide, and no one else but me. You can never, as a photographer, meet the expectations of every viewer of your work, especially not if you do artistic or autonomous work, incited by yourself. Your decisions should be inspired by what you wanted to make in the first place, by what you want to show after creating your work, not by what ‘your’ or ‘any’ audience wants to see.

“Hey, but you cannot do so for customer related work, where a customer expects you to answer the job requirements, can you?”

For customer related work things are the same I think, except that there you have to meet at some point the client’s expectations. Therefore a very important step in doing client’s work is to listen to your clients needs or expectations before getting to work on a job. You can either withdraw from the job if you feel you will not be able to stay loyal to your own style, or you can do the job, and select the images that you feel happy with. If your customer is familiar to your work, then he knows your style, and if you listened well, things should work out well.

below a non-published image from the series ‘Aude at Bart & Anja’s house’.

happy viewing.

ludwig

Ludwig_Desmet_AVO-0147

Upcoming exhibits

exhibition, Personal Pictures

The difficult task of making selections:

selections

upcoming exhibits:
——
Kaleidoscope (Group expo teachers photography KISP) 22/04 – 15/05. CJK Claeys Bouüaert – Kasteeldreef 2, 9030 Mariakerke. Practical information can be found here: cjk.gent
——
Madammen in Damme 30/04 – 16/05. Group expo throughout the village of Damme, my work will be visible at: Oude Galerie Delporte, Kattestraat 2, 8340 Damme. Practical information can be found here: www.madammen-in-damme.com
——
Gafodi f/50 04/06 – 20/06. A large photo festival, with a lot of exhibiting photographers and photo events in all entities of Gavere.
My work will be visible at:
Exterior exhibit: Kasteeldreef kasteel Grenier, Entrance trough Molenstraat, Gavere.
Interior exhibit: Kasteel Baudries, Kerkstraat 5, Dikkelvenne-Gavere.

More information will soon be available here: Gafodi
——

spread the word, everybody welcome! 🙂

ludwig

Exhibit Opening – Gafodi Fotosalon 2015

exhibition

You must have heard of it. I have been invited to be the guest photographer at the ‘Gafodi fotosalon 2015’, a yearly event, exhibiting the club’s best work, the results of their national image contest and youth contest, and home for a different guest photographer every year. I have the honour to fill the main stage, … 😎 Last saturday we had the opening ceremony, 200+ audience, with speeches from the president of the club and some other honourable guests, awards ceremony and so on. As the guest photographer I  received a basket full of beers and other goodies. To be consumed AFTER shoots, not before 😉 I also had the pleasure to meet 3 of the models that are in at least one of the images on stage: Pauline, Jenn and Lisa. Thank you ladies, for coming to the opening, it was a pleasure to meet you again, and to be able to present my and your work ‘on a larger scale’. Pauline: Cirrus – actually I present 4 images of this shoot on this exhibit, you should come to see the others. Lisa: Lisa at the Mansion Jenn: Pearls and Sudden Gust of wind The exhibit is open this monday morning, next friday/saturday/sunday, and then again on monday morning. (market day in Gavere) I hope you will be able to make it. Next to my work there’s plenty more good pictures exhibited. ludwigdesmet_Gafodi BTS-2539 ludwigdesmet_Gafodi BTS-2551 ludwigdesmet_Gafodi BTS-2546 ludwigdesmet_Gafodi BTS-2558

Exhibit preparation – Gafodi Gavere

exhibition, Personal Pictures

Putting the final decisions together for the upcoming exhibit in Gavere.

I will present my work on the main stage, the selection has been made, the sizes have been decided, the stage setup has been decided.

Now the work  is in the hands of the print shop (Fifth in Ghent) and the frame makers (‘t Schilderken in Geraardsbergen).

Printed invitations will arrive soon, the models have been invited, some special guests too.

for your information, below I’ll add the opening hours (on the official event poster) and as a teaser a rendering of what the setup will look like – it’s blurred, I know. 😉

I sincerely hope to be able to meet some of my followers/enthusiasts in Gavere. If you plan a visit, give me a sign, I’ll try to be present as much as possible, but i won’t make it every day.

Gavere setup

gafodi fotosalon

De Acte

exhibition, Personal Pictures

As from today, till 15th of January 2012 you can see two of my large format landscape images presented in Restaurant De Acte in Ronse.
Enjoy your meal if you go there, there’s some really nice food, and now a splendid view on the flemish ardennes while you sip your aperitif. 😉

the images presented are 240 cm wide, about 50 cm high.

Go there with my compliments, you might get an extra appetizer. (I don’t promise)

ludwig