Meet the curators - Fernand Hick

"Photography allows me to dream!"



Creating your own rules

1x is full of brilliant stylistic artists. Wonderful photographers who are instantly recognizable through their work. Fernand Hick is not one of them. He is more like four or five of them.

Everyone who browses through Fernand Hick's vast portfolio can’t help but to amazed by the sheer variety in his production. Still, it may be difficult to categorize it. Many photos could aspire to belong to the architectural genre as much as abstract, conceptual, nature or even portrait. It may seem like the uncompromising level of quality is the only common factor.

Fernand Hick was born in Belgium in the little town of Visé, close to the Dutch boarder. He started with photography as a hobby when he was 18 years old. The interest was primarily passed on from his father who also liked to take photos. Today, photography is the dominating hobby in his life and his photographic work is being displayed far and wide.

The impressive variation in his work might be explained by his photographic approach. Fernand Hick describes himself as an “atmosphere photographer”;

“I am a very personal and original photographer, whose working-method aims at transferring the feelings I experience while I’m shooting to my images. I am above all an atmosphere photographer and I wish to share these emotions with those that look at my pictures.”

He exemplifies this approach with a story;

I remember one day, I was making a bicycle trip with my wife and we come to a new bridge that I had already photographed. This time however we came from another way and I had the feeling "Here there is something to make...". I had no camera, but I came back there later, with the same luminosity and made the best capture of this bridge...”

As mentioned, It may seem difficult to find common themes in a production as diverse as Fernand Hick’s. Perhaps this is due to the fact that we unconsciously keep categorizing the photos into known genres. When asked about about his themes, Fernand Hicks reveals his own method of categorization;

“My main themes are notably:
- The landscape with its magic and fleeting lights.
- The carnival and its fair ambiance.
- The cemetery, witness of civilizations, sometimes lulled of poetry and serenity.
- The city with its mood, lines, shapes and men.
- The fairground where the youth bursts itself.
- The graphisme, fine blending between form, colors and lights.”

These themes do not only limit themselves to a categorization of already taken photos, but is always present when he is taking new ones, even down to a technical level;

My atmospheric captures are the results from a subtle mixture between fuzzy zones and perfectly sharp zones. In my landscapes for example, I use the defocalisation technique that allows me to grasp the ambience. In my approach of carnival or fairground, I combine additional flashlight with long shutter speed and panning in order to express the atmosphere of the situation.”

Fernand Hick’s work defies the traditional boundaries we often seek to put up in different kind of art forms. Perhaps we sometimes are overanalyzing and making things more complicated than they need to be. Maybe it would be good for all of us to sometimes create our own rules and follow Fernand Hick’s direction;

“First of all, Photography allows me to dream. May I hope that my pictures sometimes give rise to another dream…”

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