Christopher de Béthune is a Belgian photographer, known for taking photos of black & white scenes and landscapes, in which he finds sadness, comfort, and nostalgia. His work can be described as both impulsive and cautious, as the artist is ready to take a shot whenever he sees an opportunity, but also to be patient and wait for the right moment. Some of his photographs have the note of melancholy and solitude that represent a constituent of leaving and traveling. A very big influence on Christopher’s artwork has the Japanese cinema culture.
Christopher de Béthune’s Path to the Art
The artist was born and raised in Brussels, Belgium, from a father who was Swiss, and mother who is French, hence, the surname Béthune. Christopher used to make drawings as he studied it alongside with illustration. However, photography was always present in his life, especially because his grandfather was a photographer for the naval army. As a little boy, he spent hours and hours reading and looking at the magazines, books, and personal albums, made of soldiers, war machines and boats. The first photos made by this autodidact photographer, were primarily the documentation of his surroundings, like alternative rock music scene. This artist is completely old camera lover, addicted to fanzines since he was a child, passionate about films, and worships the Japanese grandmasters, like Kurosawa.
Photography was always present in his life, especially because his grandfather was a photographer for the naval army
Artist’s Projects and Interests
Most of the photos that Christopher made in Brussels reveal kinda raw, brutal, wild, or dirty first look, because mostly viewers can see silhouettes of beggars, passers-by, old or homeless people on the pavements or in the subway. The author explains that it is the moment he catches, not the picture itself that leaves that kind of impression. He continuous by adding that the black & white style usually reinforces the drama and brutality of the image, leaving less information about the places or time it was taken. In 2016 the four years long project Outland that represents an imaginary, distant geographical area, and marks an end to a love story was published. These series of photographs are the reference to Badlands from Terrence Malick, and tribute to Christopher’s emotional journey between melancholy and strangeness, spirituality and unconditional love towards nature, which ends up with mountains, beasts, endless landscapes and ghosts of the loved one.
Black & white style usually reinforces the drama and brutality of the image
The Magic of Nocturnal Life
In 2015 the photographer released his first photozine Night Ride thanks to Lucifer, the Swiss publisher, which shows the face of Brussels during the night. Christopher compares himself with a cat that walks discretely, without making a noise. This series of photos are usually made on the author’s way back to home from the nightlife. Another important segment is the images of tattoos which Béthune loves and uses to promote the freedom of expression. He also makes fanzines and displays his artworks in numerous galleries and exhibitions around the world.
The artist is represented by the Gallery Guillaume Daeppen in Basel.
Christopher de Béthune lives and works in Brussels, Belgium.
Featured image: Christopher de Béthune – Abyssinia (Detail)
All images copyright of the artist; All images used for illustrative purposes only