Before I Forget. 2018
I wanted to put people diagnosed with dementia in the spotlight. About 10% of people develop the disorder at some point in their lives, yet this large group of people seems forgotten and rarely portrayed. In 2015 it was estimated that about 45 million people suffer from some form of dementia worldwide. With this projectI wanted to break the kind of taboo that exists around dementia and show the fragility, beauty, sincerity and true humanity that I experienced with the people I portrayed.
The person portrayed on the photo is Karel, a very warm, lonely introverted man living in a care center in Louvain, Belgium as he is suffering from dementia. When I came to talk to him, he was inside his tiny bathroom and just that particular instant caught my eye. So I immediately grabbed my camera to capture this intimate moment. The light was quite dark in this small bathroom, that could barely accomodate the two of us, but I took full advantage of the shadows to express the strong sense of solitude.
Shaven, not stirred. 2018
The boy sitting in the barber’s chair is part of a ‘second chance’ education program in which young delinquents are being giving training to have better chances in making a living. In this case the young man sitting on the chair was trained to become a barber. Despite his young age, the boy in the chair already had an enitre life behind him. I wanted to reveal the fragility of a boy at the verge of a new chapter in life.
On and above the bridge. 2018
A key concept in all my work is the depiction of the fragile beauty of solitude. In this photo, taken at a bridge in the Dutch city of Maastricht I wanted to create this poetic meeting of a man and a bird, both alone, walking, flying towards the same point on or above the bridge.
Note: The text above was written by the Artist. No modification was made by C.O.C.A.
Growing up with a film director as dad, camera's, images, films, were just part of my daily life and being exposed to various forms of image processing during my childhood helped me to develop my visual sense early on. At university I graduated in archaeology and in addition I studied cultural and social anthropology. Through my photographic work I found a way to express my passion for people and culture, in portraits and street photography. As I really seek to portray people as much as possible in a spontaneous and natural way, I prefer working in the living environment of the people I photograph. I strive to improve and change my approach to photography every single day, challenging myself to express what I care about in an authentic way.