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The photography of Bart Kuykens: analogue love stories

Black and white photos have rarely been as colourful as those by Bart Kuykens – the Belgian who specialises in capturing the relationship between humans and machines. To switch off, he enters his darkroom – or his Porsche

His seven-part book series A Flat 6 Love Affair has a special melody, alternating between loud and quiet tones. After seven volumes and years, the book spines spell out ‘Porsche’ when placed in a row. When he wants to relax, the father of two boys likes to get into his 1970 Porsche 911 T and go – enjoying the feeling of being at one with the road. The 46-year-old reveals why he sees borders as imaginary lines, why he doesn’t worry about things being in sharp focus and why the art of photography is a like a gift for him.

How did you get into photography?

Bart Kuykens: Photography is much more than a craft for me – it is a talent and a great gift. I am convinced that everyone who is interested can learn the theory of photography, but that does not automatically mean that they are a good photographer. I was given the talent to take photos – and gratefully accepted it.

Which is your favourite camera when you are out and about?

Kuykens: At the moment I use the Hasselblad H1 medium format camera and the Leica R7 for my 35 mm photos. Both brands are a perfect match for my personality. Some people believe that you can take better pictures with an expensive camera.

You take analogue photos and usually in black and white – is that your trademark way of telling stories?

I sometimes work with a digital camera too, but then I quickly miss the special ‘wow’ factor. Digital photography is perfect for many situations: it is fast, it is sharp, it has plenty of megapixels – but only in analogue form can I capture the true beauty of a moment.

How would you describe your style?

Kuykens: I started to take photos of a few friends with their Porsche cars in 2015, such as the 912 of a mate in the Netherlands. I then decided on seven volumes, one for each letter of the brand, one book per year, seven years of Porsche love stories. Will you tell us about your own Porsche love affair? Kuykens: I am not the typical Porsche fan. I love the cars, I love the community, I love the travel and the roads, but most of all I love it because behind every Porsche there is a person with an interesting story. I bought my first classic car, a VW Karmann-Ghia, in my 20s and sold it two years later. Ten years later my neighbour showed me his Porsche 911 from 1971. I sold and exchanged plenty of cars during my search for the perfect Porsche. There is no such thing as the one perfect Porsche. When did you have the idea for your book series A Flat 6 Love Affair? Kuykens: I started to take photos of a few friends with their Porsche cars in 2015, such as the 912 of a mate in the Netherlands. After I developed the pictures I was absolutely thrilled and decided to photograph another Porsche with its owner. I then decided on seven volumes, one for each letter of the brand, one book per year, seven years of Porsche love stories.

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Sep 05, 2021 at 07:47

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