The Art of the Personal Project: Geert Detaeye


This post is by Suzanne Sease from A Photo Editor

The Art of the Personal Project is a crucial element to let potential buyers see how you think creatively on your own.  I am drawn to personal projects that have an interesting vision or that show something I have never seen before.  In this thread, I’ll include a link to each personal project with the artist statement so you can see more of the project. Please note: This thread is not affiliated with any company; I’m just featuring projects that I find.  Please DO NOT send me your work.  I do not take submissions.

 

Today’s featured artist: Geert De Taeye

In this photo series, I embark on a journey through inspiring locations that have the power to ignite the imagination. Guided by the virtual lens of Google Street View, I find myself wandering through the digital corridors of the world, embarking on endless virtual walks. Like a spy plane soaring above, I observe the landscape from different angles, seeking out wooded areas, specific architectural styles, and mysterious structures that exude a captivating atmosphere. These locations serve as the foundation upon which I build my narrative.

However, the initial allure of these virtual discoveries often gives way to reality when I visit them in person. Changes in the environment or alterations to the building itself can leave me disappointed. Just as Google Street View captures a moment in time, my photographs also freeze a specific instance. Yet, in their evolution, they reveal the loss or emergence of certain character traits unique to each location.

Every place undoubtedly harbors a story, a history waiting to unfold. These stories become the seeds for my photo series. Approaching with an air of naivety, I engage with the owners of farms, houses, and other inhabited places. My initial intention is to seek permission to capture their residence in an image. With a genuine curiosity, I ask them to share a personal story that resonates deeply with their home. An event or memory that has left an indelible mark and is intimately intertwined with their dwelling. It’s as if I am selecting a still from a movie, immortalizing a moment frozen in time.

The residents’ personal stories form the foundation of my images. Drawing inspiration from their narratives, I create and stage new situations that expand upon the truth, allowing room for interpretation and exaggeration. The resulting photographs, The Nearest Truth, are grounded in true stories yet venture beyond simple documentation. Nothing is quite as it seems, as I aim to create a world where reality and imagination blur together, beckoning viewers to question their own perceptions.

Through this approach, I hope to uncover the hidden narratives embedded within these captivating locations. The fusion of personal stories, carefully constructed staging, and the inherent magic of photography allows me to delve into the depths of human experience and create visual moments that resonate on multiple levels.

In The Nearest Truth, reality dances with the imaginary, prompting viewers to delve deeper into their own interpretations and immerse themselves in a world where tales are told through the lens of a camera.

To see more of this project, click here

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APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world.  She has been involved in the photography and illustration advertising and in-house corporate industry for decades.  After establishing the art-buying department at The Martin Agency, then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies, she decided to be a consultant in 1999.  Follow her at @SuzanneSease.  Instagram