By his own admission, a camera gives Athos Burez a greater sense of freedom than a paintbrush. And yet, the influence of art or history of painting is never far away in the young photographer’s work. Before Burez takes a picture, he builds the image with exceptional attention to framing, lighting and composition. In this way, he manages to create a very distinctive, surreal and also always tangible universe in which the viewer’s imagination is often challenged with a touch of humour.
Despite the ‘era difference’, James Ensor and Athos Burez are two peas in a pod. Both are known for their unbridled imagination, colourful opulence and biting sense of satire. So when Burez was asked to make a contemporary interpretation of James Ensor’s The Baths at Ostend, the answer was: hell, yeah! Even though the photo shoot with 180 extras and a capricious sea also caused him quite a few headaches in the end. The result, however, is as stunning as it is witty and it encouraged Burez to dig even deeper into the master’s oeuvre.