Tender is the night

(c) Patrick Bock

(c) Patrick Bock

An image of the darkest blue, almost black, intense, crossed by a light pink strip. Another, night blue, cut through the middle by a line of a darker blue, like the binding of a book separates two pages. Or, a foggy sky whose fuzzy clouds create some kind of a halo that plunges and gets lost in what must be the so, so calm sea.

Looking at these views of skies on a flat sea where deep blues merge from the top to the bottom of the image, the first question that comes to mind is whether this is a painting, a pastel or a photograph. The colours are intense; the grain is delicate, silky; the motif is vague yet understandable. No need to spend time examining the subject. What matters is the feeling of being sucked in by an endless blue, the urge to dive, to dive into it.

Patrick Bock is a photographer. He set up his camera on the shores of Corsica. Using exposure times ranging from 2 seconds to 20 minutes, he captures all the eternal and timeless beauty of the sea. The horizon, this line that he underscores, often topped with a pink dawn or milky dusk, cuts the image in half, giving it an abstract appearance. One thinks of Rothko’s paintings. Bock claims he was influenced by the Chinese tradition of landscape painting and one can certainly see aspects of the Zen philosophy in what he conveys. His photographs exhude contentment and serenity.

“I work with a film for slides,” the artist explains. “The slides are later developed and scanned. The scans are cleaned to remove dust and colours have to be balanced for the printing, which is done digitally with a pigment-based ink printer on ‘fine art’ cotton paper. The result is like a pastel, without the slightly plastic-like feel of conventional photographic papers,” says Bock.

The profound and peaceful beauty of his photos remains fragile because of the strange feel, seemingly “painted” of the images. It creates a mystery, a question, even if the gaze travels to the vanishing point, where the horizon line meets an infinite sky.

Patrick Bock
Photographies
Braam Art Gallery
9, rue Fourmois
1050 Bruxelles
Jusqu’au 11 octobre
Du mercredi au samedi de 14h à 18h
www.braamjp.be

(c) Patrick Bock

(c) Patrick Bock

(c) Patrick Bock

(c) Patrick Bock

(c) Patrick Bock

(c) Patrick Bock

(c) Patrick Bock

(c) Patrick Bock

(c) Patrick Bock

(c) Patrick Bock

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