Eddy Van Gestel (°1964)
For many years now, Belgian fine art photographer Eddy Van Gestel divides his time between Belgium and Africa, where his love for the African continent and his art photography come together in a symbiotic way. Although the continent has changed profoundly and is yet changing more rapidly than ever, he still sees himself confronted with a very stereotypical way of thinking in the western world when it comes to the black continent and his habitants. With ‘Pure Black’ he accepted the challenge to take his audience by the hand and to make it look to African people in a different way and in a higher level. His ambition is to portray them in a such way that the spectator can’t just ignore the pictures, but on the contrary turns his head, confused by what he sees. The mysterious light he creates, the settings, the colours, the attributes, the illusion of being dropped in a different time, the poses of his distinct protagonists, they all serve only to draw the attention to their elegance, their strength, their pride and the breath taking patina of their skin. ‘Pure Black’ tells an unknown story of beauty, resilience and self-reflection and gives the African people the attention they deserve.
Eddy Van Gestel gained international fame through his exhibitions and books ‘Just Imagine, ‘Perla Nera’, ‘African Queen’, ‘Africa, a continent in the picture’, ‘Africa XL’, ‘Africa to the rhythm of the Sun’ and ‘Terra Africana. Van Gestel’s unique work is exhibited worldwide.