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Marcel Van Der Vlugt



Expo: Pop Up Gallery with Ingrid Deuss and Les Hommes

October 13 - October 16, 2011


Van der Vlugt uses photography as the preferred medium in his quest for beauty. This pursuit of beauty is an all encompassing one: no angle or perspective escapes him. It can be found is his fashion photography but more so in his autonomous work. 


Series  that embody this ‘search’ are for example Van der Vlugt ’s  surrealistic portraits in the series ‘I like…’, the series ‘Before and After’ where references to the skin-deep, cliché advertisements for beauty centers are portrayed, and even more so in  the imaginary, almost science- fiction like world in the series ‘A New Day’.


Van der Vlugt’s career started at the age of five, when his father, a professional photographer himself, handed him a camera. Since then he has been shooting image after image: a passion that will never leave him.


His work is not for the meek. The images are boldly sensual, leaning towards dangerously subversive. To enable images as photographed by Van der Vlugt though, there should be a relationship of complete trust. In the end it is always the subject that has the upper hand: the one who makes the picture what it is.


Much of Van der Vlugt ‘s work speaks of constraints: be it in town lines in the  landscapes series ’Greetings from Beauty’, wrapped in bandages in the series ‘A New Day’, or the notion of time in the series ‘Buds’. He seeks to reach those boundaries - finding all the freedom within that ‘framework’.


To be able to carefully mold the image to what he has in mind Van der Vlugt prefers to shoot one image in a few minutes, making him rather shutter shy unlike other photographers.


The beauty depicted in Van der Vlugt’s work is never perfect, soothing, nor of a conventional kind. It might shock or give discomfort to the viewer. His work is a running commentary on the ever changing world. It speaks of hidden appetites and desires, but ultimately of decay: the loss of beauty through time. His photographic odyssey leads at long last to a relative context. Individual series with one common denominator - everything touches everything.


 ‘Beauty, NP, RSA #139’ from the series ‘Greetings from Beauty’ holds the truth of Van der Vlugt’s work: Beauty is close by, but not yet truly reached. His work ‘reads’ as a stream of consciousness novel. His quest for beauty is strangely similar to the ‘search of lost time’, of his namesake Marcel in Proust’s ‘À la Récherche du Temps Perdu’. Just like him, Van der Vlugt is trying to capture something essential to him: beauty. Never fully able to grasp it, always exploring, and by doing so, keeping his audience captivated in the process.


7 November 2014 - 20 December 2014


Marcel van der Vlugt portrays flowers the same way he depicts people. Each flower has a very define presence and a character. This character is not always parallel to the mythological symbol the flower is usually given, but to a symbol Van der Vlugt awards each flower him self. After modest and melancholic callas, we discover seductive roses, rotten peonies, nostalgic dahlias, devastated tulips, dead poppies and naughty anthuriums. The same flower makes us almost embarrassed to look on one photo, forget everything we believe in, on another, and pray and worship it on a next one. The photographer gently plays with the most ephemeral creations by sometimes combining them with models, or simply by carefully documenting their short lives. A story Van der Vlugt is methodically and virtuously telling with Buds is the story of love and death, the oldest story on Earth, which literally blossomed from buds.

Marcel van der Vlugt (1957) is an international well-known photographer who has explored the theme of beauty in many series and often in a literal way. His work has been published widely and exhibited in Fotomuseum Den Haag, Kunsthal Rotterdam, Fotomuseum Winterthur and Louis Vuitton, Tokyo. Book publications: Beauty and Other Secrets (2007), A New Day (2007) and Rejects (2008).


In België kennen we Van der Vlugt reeds van een  samenwerking met Ingrid Deuss en Les Hommes voor het  project A Beauty Case in 2011. En onlangs was ook een werk te zien in de groepstentoonstelling Capita Selecta in het Broelmuseum in Kortrijk


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