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Harry Fayt. An immersive experience. Fashion - 19 January 2017

Harry Fayt

Dive into the work of this extraordinary Belgian photographer (if the reader will excuse the pun). Indeed, Harry Fayt is in his element when it comes to water (and when it comes to photography).

Since he graduated in 1998, Harry, born and bred in Charleroi, has worked tirelessly to make his dream come true: making a living from photography. At no point did he ever give up hope. Not when his first photos were deemed too academic for the Parisian agencies to whom he sent his portfolio, a collection of his best student projects, nor when record companies refused him tickets for the concerts of singers and musicians he was photographing for various Belgian and foreign agencies, nor when he was forced to give up his American Dream of a studio at the heart of New-York because of visa issues, nor even during the long slog of jobs he took on to make ends meet (photographing second-hand cars, in particular), but which left no room for his creative impulses. Harry, now based in Liège, does not give up easily. That much is obvious from looking at his underwater work - his speciality. Had he not been so determined, Harry would probably never have reached this level of technical mastery in underwater photography. The uniqueness of his vision comes from taking photographs under water like he would in a studio, lighting the floor and walls of the pool. But why this particular area of focus? The 38 year old photographer is forthright: to be noticed, to make sure he doesn’t “stagnate”. The word is apposite! It also gives a sense of the extent to which this bold and imaginative artist has no intention of politely remaining in his place.  He won’t stagnate in water, or anywhere else.

Kid Noize, Nicola Testa, Typh Barrow

Everything is cyclical in Harry Fayt’s career. It’s as if, after 2, 5 or 10 years, he always finds a way of completing the cycle. One of these cycles, from 1998 to 2003, involved photographing heavy metal bands (his first musical love), as well as, in a completely different style, Placebo and Robbie Williams. With the support of Wallonie-Bruxelles International, this led to a series focusing on young, francophone, musical talent: soul singer Typh Barrow, photographed under water in a surreal set which evoked the living room of a 1950s apartment, complete with piano, but also Nicola Testa and Kid Noize. For each one, the photographer imagined a story and meticulously put together a staging and a set... While shoots are always carefully planned, working under water often involves last minute surprises. This sense of risk is part and parcel of Harry’s work. Water is the variable, and it is this variable which leads the artist towards new, unexplored vistas. Harry Fayt has many adventures in him yet. In parallel to this series, which he hopes to exhibit in 2018, the artist is currently exploring Modern Icons, a very personal reinterpretation of Renaissance art works. Under water, his re-imagined Madonnas subvert conventions. They fascinate and intrigue, seducing us time after time. Listening to Harry speak about his career, his current projects and his dreams, you can sense a fire in him, one which he has no intention of containing. Like with the photographs of c-sections which he took when he was still at school (against the advice of a teacher who was convinced the project would never come off), Harry Fayt has an ambitious vision. It’s just as well he does - there are plenty more subjects he dreams of diving into, literally as well as figuratively!

By Marie Honnay

 

Kid Noize (c) Harry Fayt

(c) Harry Fayt

Typh Barrow (c) Harry Fayt

Nicola Testa (c) Harry Fayt

(c) Harry Fayt

(c) Harry Fayt

(c) Harry Fayt

(c) Harry Fayt

(c) Harry Fayt

(c) Harry Fayt

Further information

www.harryfayt.com



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