Ostend, Belgium. 1988 by Harry Gruyaert.
6″ x 6″ Magnum Square print
Fuji Crystal Archival Matte paper
Signed on verso by Harry Gruyaert
Statement from Harry Gruyaert on the back of print Ostend, Belgium. 1988
« In an attempt to come to terms with my complicated relationship with Belgium, my homeland, I decided in the early ’70s to take pictures of my country, instead of trying psychotherapy. I had been shooting in colour in Morocco, India and the United States, but in Belgium, I could not see any colour. For me, it was a very grey country and I decided to work in black and white. Around the same period, I became very interested in American Pop Art artists and their vision, which challenged our perception of beauty, and had a great influence on me. Gradually, I began to realize that there was a beauty in what I found banal, chaotic or ugly in Belgium, and that colour was the best way to express it. In this picture, shot in a cafe on the seafront in Ostend, I was attracted by the interaction between the red neon sign and the bright blue of the sea, something that I could never have captured in black and white. »
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