Born the 8th of October 1961 in Brussels, Belgium.
Graduate from the Belgium National School for Visual Arts in 1986.
He works first as a graphic designer and illustrator.
His images have been published worldwide.
He has taught at the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts in Brussels.
In 1996, he moved to Paris, France and worked as a painter and photographer.
He lives and works in New York city since 2003.
In 2012 he received the first prize for his conceptual photography at the World Photography Awards. (Out of 50,000 entries)
Choreography of Pictorial Fetishes, Manuel Geerinck
These works represent the most recent stage on my personal artistic path. From compositions on paper and paintings, I have expanded my research into conceptual photographs.
Selected from raw, elemental works on paper, drawings are cut apart and set into motion to become the basis of these images devised through a solely analog method. The choreography of its pictorial elements gives it a new status as the dancing parts of the painted image become a photograph in its own original genre.
The transformed image gains strength through the process which progresses from manual drawing to mechanical reproduction. In the act of displacement, these light sculptures are defined by a gesture of substitution as time caught on a surface. Originating from elusive forms, intact drawings and their constructed counterparts appear in fetish form. This experiment leads the viewer to re-examine the image's inner nature through a less definable interpretation, outside of our descriptive world.
Public Collections :
Whitney Museum of American Art Library, New York
New Britain Museum of American Art, Connecticut.
Collection of the BNF, Bibliothêque Nationale de France, Paris France.
Fond d'aquisition du Ministère belge des affaire étrangère.
Fondation Philipp Morris, Zurich Switzerland
BAS, Amsterdam Holland.
Collection des communautés Européennes,
TV5 Europe, Paris France.
Private Collections :
William Hunt The Unseen Eye collection, New York.
Steve Wynn collection, Las Vegas.
Mary and John Brock Collection, Atlanta.
Christopher Hyland Collection, New York
James Dinian & Elizabeth Miller collection, New York.
Alexandre Percy collection, Paris, France.
Myriam et Amaury De Solage collection, Brussels, Belgium.
Amy and Ronald Guttman collection, New York.
Ralph Pucci Collection, New York.
Jeff Gordon Collection, New York.
John Ceriale Collection, New York.
Afterword by WM Hunt
“The Choreography of Pictorial Fetishes” by Manuel Geerinck
These are photographs.
These exist uniquely as photographs. The artist, Manuel Geerinck, is in pursuit of something specific that cannot be achieved in another medium. Whatever elements he has gathered – paper cutouts, string or wire – stuff, these appear to be arranged as still life's and then animated or set into motion. That movement is captured photographically in an instant, a fraction of a second. Think of them as "di-stilled-life's". The subject is hurtling through space or swinging on a pendulum; and it is escaping into another dimension just as the camera catches it.
Alfred Steiglitz’s series of “equivalents” may be regarded as the earliest of photographic abstraction where the image makes no literal reference to anything. It is not representational. The viewer is free to make any sort of associations. These do not have to be visual either. You can sense the presence of more than clouds although that is what you are seeing, similar to the impact music makes when it doesn’t summon up visions of dancing hippos or nature films with egrets taking off or landing on mirror-surfaced ponds.
These are true abstractions. You may think you see eggs and bugs and aliens and, indeed, clouds, but there is a beautiful vagueness to these. These are not recognizable things. Further there is a condensed gem-like quality to these disturbances in the center of the frame. Those are, in turn, swallowed up by the vibrant color field backgrounds - yellow, red, white and even gleaming blacks. These planes of color, sometimes divided in two, suspend these curious squiggles and drips.
Photographs are basically the magical capture of light on paper. When people describe them as “painterly”, this usually speaks to the way colors are discreetly blended or modeled. Ironically what they are describing is what makes a piece uniquely “photographic”. The artist is managing something that could only be done in a photograph.
Mr Geerinck’s photographs are distinctive and don’t conjure up reminders of work by other artists. There is a Modernist straightforwardness to the art making and perhaps a knowledge of painters from Miró to Bacon to Clyfford Still. The Geerinck works behave like isolated details in the larger works of those named artists but with a compressed power. The flatness of the surface behaves differently from any rough and tumble spackle-knifed Abstract Expressionist canvas. To go back to an earlier word, these are distillations of color and line. Any despairing or violent urgency is balanced by stillness; movement has been stopped.
The works can be read as meditations on light. Occasionally doubling and tripling of images, spilt screen variations on a theme, reinforce the primal excitement.
It is not like looking at the jewel’s facets from different angles but more like a visual manifestation of a musical beat – boom boom or boom boom boom – triplets.
These resonate and shudder through your body like a drum. You can feel it.
It is a strong title, “The Choreography of Pictorial Fetishes”. Fetish describes these markings, inanimate but with religious or mystical qualities that engage and fascinate us, and choreography speaks to their surprising and arresting dance.