Eddy van Gestel: Emotion in art photography
TEXT: MONIQUE GADELLA | PHOTOS: EDDY VAN GESTEL
Thought-provoking, full of drama and emotion – the pictures taken by Eddy van Gestel are one of a kind. Based in Antwerp, but living mostly in Lamu (a small island in Kenya), he takes inspiration from Africa’s people and landscapes. The images are not just portraits or still lifes – they are fine art.
As a young man, Van Gestel was fascinated by both art and mystical Africa. He travelled throughout the continent and ended up as a wildlife photographer. Besides his passion for photography, he also loves books and became a publisher. But, in 2010, he decided to become a full-time photographer “on a level that borders on art”, producing several books from an ethnic viewpoint, until he wasn’t surprised by this anymore.
Van Gestel is still inspired by African people and landscape, but now focusses on a parallel world that nearly connects to reality. He balances on a tightrope with his surrealistic, multi-layered artworks. These images are printed on a large scale and exhibited not only in his own gallery in Antwerp, but also in New York and Paris. The photos will also be incorporated in his new book, Just Passing By, due to come out in September.
The photography is done with either an old analogue or a high-end digital camera, depending on the subject matter. “If the dynamic reach – from dark to light – is important, digital cameras give a better result,” says Van Gestel. “Whatever the method, whatever the subject, I am totally focussed on creating a unique work of art.”
Forty years ago, Van Gestel ended up in Lamu, one of those hidden treasures he is reluctant to talk about. “The authenticity of this small island is what draws me in. It’s like a small Zanzibar,” he says. There are no cars on the island, and everything is transported by donkeys or boat. Van Gestel particularly likes that there are no external stimuli. He experiences a creative boost every time he visits.
If you are interested in the relativity of life and want to purchase his artistic photography, visit the website. You’ll be amazed.
Subscribe to Our Newsletter
Receive our monthly newsletter by email