“They are like paintings”, says just about everyone who gets to see Valérie Naessens’ work. In 2017, the photographer found in her camera a companion that calms her down. Since then, she has been heading out in bleak weather to capture the stories she wants to tell in images.
To do so, Valérie follows her own rhythm. When she allows herself time to dance around a subject and let her work mature, the most beautiful things emerge.
Valérie is careful not to register reality as it exists. She focuses on details and finds beauty in fragments of reality. Her photographs are a representation of her mind and flow with the curves of her life. The word that palpably floats out in front of the lens is therefore emotion. The images are atmospheric and cinematic, narrative and alienating. The colours are soft and muted.
The game she plays with sharpness also characterises her work. By allowing the slumber, she focuses on emotion. The mysterious veil of noise that hangs over her images is reminiscent of analogue photography. Valérie makes it a point not to go beyond what is possible in the darkroom when post-processing her photos. Thus, she manages to capture the atmosphere of bygone times in images. She does so in her own painterly way and at her own pace.
She has been selected for Unknown Masterpieces in Knokke.