After finishing his studies at the Antwerp School Of Photography, Kurt Stallaert's talent and creativity was soon discovered by some of the top advertising agencies in Belgium. Since then he worked for international publicity agencies such as Duval-Guillaume and TBWA, directed major advertising campaigns for Levis, Van Marcke, Humo, Telenet, Renault and many more. As a fashion and advertising photographer, Stallaert developed a personal style of impacting images that inspired many international brands he worked for: Nike, Sisley, Axe, Marie Jo and many more.
Although Kurt Stallaert's imagery is inspired by average social and cultural matters, with a touch of humor and irony, his work is remarkable because it goes above and beyond the everyday. No matter if it's about fashion or advertising, Kurt likes to work with elaborate settings creating his own artistic language and imaginary world. Recently, he also started to work with moving images.
Because of his inexhaustible drive and passion, his work (both his photography as well as his recent video projects), is timeless and unique.
Kurt Stallaert's non-stop search for authenticity of images in his professional work brought him automatically into artistic photography. His work explores the borders of reality and surreality and balances between the human and the superhuman. Does reality lie in the authenticity of the image, or in the authenticity of the emotion that it evokes? And how far can we go to reach perfection? Questions that raised in his "Bodybuilders' World", a photographical series of muscled men, women and children. Images that seduce but threaten at the same time. In 2010, some of these Bodybuilders were exhibited at the Museum Dr. Guislain in Ghent. Soon after his work was picked up by Leonhard’s gallery in Antwerp en budA art gallery in Brussels. More recently, Kurt Stallaert successfully showed his first video project at the Lineart art fair.
For his recent video work, Kurt uses high-speed photography, a technique developed for industrial and scientific purposes, that allows the artist to combine photography and film. At first sight, when we look at these images, we have the impression they are photos or stills. Only when we look closer and longer, we discover slowly moving images. By splitting an image into a thousand images, high-speed photography allows Kurt Stallaert to show more than one reality at the same time. He calls these images ’moving stills’.
Kurt Stallaert (1969) is a Belgium based contemporary artist and art director. As a fashion and advertising photographer he developed a very personal style through impactful images that inspired many brands around the world. His continuous search for authentic and strong imagery in his professional work naturally led him to venture into artistic photography where he most recently discovered a love for video and film.
In 2008 Kurt surprised the Belgian art scene with Bodybuilders' World (2007-2012), a remarkable photo series of appealing images that seduce and threaten at the same time: muscled men, women and children in an imaginary world. For this series Kurt travelled around the globe, not only to find potential bodybuilders, but also to capture the best and most authentic settings. His first collection of photographs was realized in Brussels and Prague. It was then, in 2010, that Kurt travelled to Africa to continue working on the series with African bodybuilders. Bodybuilders' World was quickly picked up amongst galleries, online art magazines, private collectors, and museums in Belgium and abroad. Later in 2010, a selection of his bodybuilders work was exhibited in The Weight Body at the renowned Museum Dr. Guislain in Ghent and the famous Ghent Art Fair. More exhibitions and shows followed soon after.
Further exploring the boundaries between the real and the surreal in photography, Stallaert soon began to discover the possibilities of moving pictures. In 2012 he began experimenting with high-speed photography, creating what he now calls moving stills: slow motion images that cross the lines between photography and film. At a glance, we might think of these images as framed photos or video stills. It is only when we look closer and more carefully that we discover a picture moving in slow motion. With a dramatic tension between beauty and suspense, Kurt Stallaert's moving stillsinvite us to look, and look again, as if there is something about to happen. Or did it just happen?
With a sense for metamorphosis of the human body and a deceleration of time and space, Stallaert evokes tangible expression and emotion in both his photography and video work. His artistic endeavors take us into a modern mythology of a dreamy, imaginary universe that seems familiar, yet entirely inexistent.
Balancing between reality and surreality, these images intimidate, inspire, threaten and seduce, leaving us craving for more. In his latest works, Kurt Stallaert hopes to cross the borders of imagination and go beyond simple aesthetics to make everyday experiences exceptional.
For his first international solo exhibition, Kurt Stallaert brings the best of his personal work to the Bratislava City Gallery. Within the walls of this historical building, the exhibition hall has been redesigned into a museum on scale, allowing the spectator to discover his work in a slow motion modus. Opportunities to see the personal works of Kurt Stallaert do not come often, as the artist is quite modest and selective about where his works are displayed. Take a moment to experience the journey through a diary of pictures at this monumental exhibition of Kurt Stallaert’s early bodybuilders series as well as some of his most recent moving stills. Discover an invincible journey through the mind of the artist.