In 2005, Bob Daenen wrote the following text, the preface for his new book (Perception versus Reality) in preparation:
The art of photography reflects the art of living.
It is a way of observing, of looking and living attentively every day, every moment, so we are present and awake to capture the reality, the beauty around us as a testimony of joy, or a myriad of other feelings.
Often we see thousands of images around us, or on the screen without really taking attention in depth, as we are invaded by the huge quantity, so they lose their intensity being eroded by the speed and the repetition.
One photo might compress years of observations, reflections, attentive looking and listening.
One photo can open our eyes, shake up our mind, one image can shock us, attract or revolt us as long the image is authentic and of quality.
It is the duty of the creator to observe and have another look at the realities around us, to show the strong and weak points, scratch the surfaces, perforate the artificial facades hiding the essential or the truth, or the beauty,
and to picture, reveal what is hidden behind the obvious, beyond the generalities and dig deeper, further and wider.
Searching for beauty is liberating as beauty makes us smile, makes us happy and that’s what we all are looking for.
Art can help us.
In my photos, I am searching for Beauty present everywhere, also hidden in the “banality” of daily life, in the details, the “invisible”, in the overlooked and the unexpected.
So I picture simple objects, modest situations, surprising details, little jewels in nature escaping our eyes as we look too far for the “great beauty”, the Art with the great capital “A”,
the Happiness projected in books or movies. Looking, longing too far, too high, makes us blind for the little daily pearls of beauty around us.
This might sound “romantic or outdated”, at the contrary, for me this is the concrete “reality”,
proven by these realistic photos, which have not been corrected, reworked or whatever tricks of modern digital photography or software.
The customary, the banality does not exist; we do “banalise” by not seeing “it” anymore, by not listening, by not detecting the beauty behind the surface.
We often neglect the truth, the mystery beyond the fake reality presented to us, as we are overtaken by the distorted perception.
Photography is a good tool to stay alert, open-minded and sharp.
It forces us to stop our busy mind, to cut our circling thoughts and to look in full concentration, to re-evaluate realities and to ask questions, to observe with a critical mind, an open vision on the world and on our life.
Once you train yourself to think, listen and look attentively to the physical world around and within you, it will elevate you to the mental and to the spiritual realities, so Beauty will expand into new heights.