A storyteller with cyanotype

I have been intensively involved in photography for more than thirty years, and I have ended up with images that at first sight don't even seem to be photos. In a technique from a different era. I don't want to be content with a single image from which the viewer's gaze drifts away after a few seconds. An image should at least try to make you stay, ask you questions, set your own imagination to work: if it doesn't, the communication has failed.

I bring things, perspectives, people, situations in front of the camera, I superpose layers, - past and present, memory and seeing with the eyes of this moment, - and I connect them with each other from my emotions and life experience. I hope for recognition, for the reaction of the other.

The nineteenth-century technique called cyanotype is for me one of the ways to make the images independent: the color alienates them from everyday reality, the use of the self-applied layer of chemistry on handmade paper makes them even more detached from the stereotype images flooding us every day by the thousands. The laborious development method ensures that the image, once finished, is even more mine. And therefore, ready to give it away completely.

Karel Van Gerven, November 21


A selection of cyanotypes on hand made paper from Belgian photographer Karel Van Gerven are now in store at CABINET39


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