Power Flower

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Bas Meeuws – Untitled (#92), 2013

Self taught photographer Bas Meeuws (°1974, The Netherlands) is inspired by the historical flower paintings of the Golden Age. The painters used to combine flowers from different seasons to achieve a dreamlike and timeless bouquet of exquisite beauty. Meeuws does the same. He photographs flowers separately and combines them with Photoshop emulating the same artificial beauty.

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Bas Meeuws – Untitled (#92), 2013 (detail)

In the photograph above (#92) he takes the flower composition to a modern aesthetics: a copper design table, a modern vase, all flowers are full and perfect. Some irony slips in when he composes the bouquet, in between the classical tulips and peonies he places kale leaves and a flowering bean stem.The curved line of the tulip is repeated in the body of a blue dragonfly. The pattern in the vase is repeated in the spots on the butterfly and the caterpillars. While looking at Meeuws’ work you continue to discover new details over and over again.

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Bas Meeuws – Untitled (#65), 2012

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Bas Meeuws – Untitled (#65), 2013 (detail)

The reflection of a window in the photograph above (#65) is a clear reference to the classical flower compositions with the same characteristic such as the paintings of Jan Davidsz. de Heem. In the reflection you can see shutters, houses and a cloudy sky. Meeuws constructed this image, had it printed on poster format and hung this poster opposite to the set up with the vase in his studio. By shining a flashlight on the poster the image was reflected on the vase. So what we see is a real reflection of an artificial image.

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Bas Meeuws – Untitled (#41), 2013

In the work above (#41) lots of insects are to be discovered such as the hoverfly. Meeuws includes hoverflies in most of his works as a tribute to historical flower painter Jan van Huijsum who seemed to use this particular insect as a signature.

I discovered the works of Bas Meeuws in the Power Flower exhibition in the Rockox house in Antwerp. The setting of the photographs in this historical house close to the works that have inspired this contemporary artist was really stunning.

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Check out his beautiful artist website here.

Home Works

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In my field notes is some more Danish art inspiration to be found this summer. I was introduced to the work of Danish photographer Joakim Eskildsen (°1971, lives in Berlin) at the 80 days of summer photo festival in Ghent, Belgium. The pictures of his series ‘Home Works’ impressed me, how he photographs children around the home in a romantic and at the same time a kind of raw way. The way he uses light to its full potential, the way his images make us long for an intimate, homely and simple world. Some may call it melancholy but in any case Joakim Eskildsen is a top photographer.

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Check out Eskildsen’s gorgeous portfolio on his website with recent work shot in Cuba and the USA for Time.
All pictures shown are taken from his website with thanks.

Above & Beyond

Sollsbury Hill by Peter Liepke

Sollsbury Hill by Peter Liepke

New York City. The attraction this city radiates is quite extraordinary. Also for art photographer Peter Liepke. For his series ‘Above & Beyond‘ he creates New York City images that feel like charcoal drawings: dark, intimate, mysterious. Using the laborious Gum Bichromate process he creates a layered image which is made strictly by hand.

Let's go home by Peter Liepke

Let’s go home by Peter Liepke

Up on the roof by Peter Liepke

Up on the roof by Peter Liepke

In his own words: “To me the series is about breaking away and chasing a dream. After growing up in suburban Minnesota…as an artist, like many before me, and many more who will continually arrive in NYC each day, we embrace the challenge of wanting to broaden our lives by moving into a bigger arena. So for this series I wanted to go back and try to remember my feelings or first impressions upon arriving in NYC as an outsider for the first time well over twenty years ago.”

A new day by Peter Liepke

A new day by Peter Liepke

Peter Liepke: “The most important life lesson my parents taught me was that no matter how difficult the odds may be, with a deep passion and hard work it’s never too late to start over and create a new beginning in your life, to always deeply trust your own artistic instinct, and as difficult as it may be at times . . . never ever stop believing in yourself.”
Let’s take this great wisdom into the new year!

Happy year end and thank you so much for reading my Fieldnotes in 2014!

Central Park West by Peter Liepke

Central Park West by Peter Liepke

All images from Peter Liepkes website

Things fall apart

Ljubljana, Slovenia, 2006 - Sander Buyck

Ljubljana, Slovenia, 2006 – Sander Buyck

Although he travels the world to take pictures, in his images there is no sign of stereotypical portrayal. There is poetry, personality, and just the hint of a story. He’s an excellent observer.

Jenin, OPT, 2011 - Sander Buyck

Jenin, OPT, 2011 – Sander Buyck

Sander Buyck was born in Ghent (b 1984), Belgium were he studied photography. I was recently introduced to his work because he won the 2-yearly provincial price for visual arts (Oost-Vlaanderen-Belgium). The resulting exhibition showcasing his work was such a nice discovery. All pictures shown here are from the accompanying catalogue.

Havana, Cuba, 2009 - Sander Buyck

Havana, Cuba, 2009 – Sander Buyck

Tel-Aviv, Israel, 2010 - Sander Buyck

Tel-Aviv, Israel, 2010 – Sander Buyck

Paris, France, 2008 - Sander Buyck

Paris, France, 2008 – Sander Buyck

“Rendez-vous au paradis” is a series on Palestinian martyrs photographed the way he encountered them on posters in the streets of Palestina. The project tells their individual stories as recounted by family members in a video that can be watched on iPads in the exhibition and now also on the project website.

Martyr #2 / Rendez-vous au paradis, West Bank, OPT, 2011 - Sander Buyck

Martyr #2 / Rendez-vous au paradis, West Bank, OPT, 2011 – Sander Buyck

“Things fall apart” is the title of an artist book he produced in 2009. For me it sums up beautifully the atmosphere in his images.