Windows by Luc Dratwa
"One day I sat down in front of the window on the 66th floor of the Rockefeller Center in New York," Luc Dratwa explains, "I was deeply touched by the poetry of the location. I felt as if I was vacillating between heaven and earth, as if I was elsewhere and I felt that I had to capture this exceptional instant."
So began a photographic project, capturing joe public, unaware, in poses of dreamy contemplation as they take a rest on the bench of the 66th floor.
See more of Luc Dratwa’s Windows project, as currently on show at the Young Gallery, Brussels
It’s difficult to avoid clichÃ© when photographing the New York skyline in black and white, but Dratwa’s pictures, particularly when seen as a series, have an added dimension in their formulaic fore, mid and background composition.
They have a very particular atmosphere, almost voyeuristic, with the figures in silhouette, photographed from behind against the sharply contrasted shaft of natural light through the window combining the gaze of the photographer and the subject over the downtown skyline. The photographs are printed in a metre by a metre and half to maximise the sense of the immense.
Dratwa, the former editor of Domino from 1987 to 1990 is a self-taught photographer, now living in Brussels, whose many travels over the last few decades spawned a multitude of atmospheric cityscape scenes. This is his first solo exhibition.