Belgian-born photographer Frederik Vercruysse has photographed for the likes of Valentino and Hermès, but it is his skillfully composed still lifes and landscape photography that feature in the first book of his collected works, Index 2006-2016. Here, Vercruysse’s photographs of interiors, architecture and the minutiae of everyday life lay bare his exceptional talent.
Frederik Vercruysse’s work depicts the everyday at its most exquisite. His serenely balanced compositions are a remedy for the mundaneness of ordinary life; of his delicately beautiful, abstract photography he says, “If I can’t control reality, I like to control the image of reality.” Index 2006-2016 is the first published book of Vercruysse’s collected works, distilling some of his very best compositions, still lifes, interiors and landscape photography into one volume. The result is a sublime collection of restrained and thoughtful images, heavy with tranquil beauty.
Vercruysse doesn’t shy away from the label of aesthete. His photography practice is distinctly aesthetic, driven by a need not to control or cover an ugly reality, but to create something else entirely—another kind of reality. He arranges and balances the subjects of his photos until he reaches equilibrium, a perfectly poised composition of light and symmetry. Drawing on his lifelong love of architecture, Vercruysse often refers to his work as “micro-architectures,” photos constructed with all the care and precision of great buildings.
Index 2006-2016 is split into three sections, each focusing on a different aspect of Vercruysse’s practice. “Composition” focuses on his still lifes—photographs of objects as routine as a notebook, or a pen, carefully orchestrated to transform them into artful explorations of line and symmetry.
Vercruysse turns his eye to his passion for architecture in “Control.” When photographing buildings, Vercruysse explores the space to find the surface that most intrigues him. The photographs that result offer new perspective on the structure, and make intimate and textural works.
In “Out of Control,” the viewer experiences the reality that Vercruysse claims he cannot control through his landscape photography. The photographer manipulates the landscape to create what almost seems like another reality completely: one of balance and symmetry that more resembles paintings than photographs. That is the very nature of Vercruysse’s work—depictions of the world so perfectly balanced, so considered in their construction, as to seem almost unreal.