Choose a fairly common green plant; one of those you find in many homes. Don’t water it and wait to see how it dries out, its large leaves collapsing, curling in on themselves and shriveling. In other words: let it die a little. That is the weird idea of photographer Christian Carez, who’s presenting his still lives, of an infinite sadness, at the Salon of Art today.

Born in 1938, Carez lived a childhood marked by the war. He describes his clear memories of air raids, bombings, house raids, sudden arrests, etc. He was a teacher at La Cambre for over 20 years, after first being a student there. Carez takes staged, fictional and documentary photographs.

By abusing this tropical plant, the calathea, placing it in front of a black background, illuminating it like a movie star (on his/her way back), the photographer shamelessly exploits this plant, so typical of our interiors, to express his acute resentment, anger and despair without the slightest hint of humour. With colors ranging from soft green to deep purple, passing via grey, Carez’s calatheas perhaps illustrate his deep, desperate thoughts. No more than that. Or perhaps it’s the result of a formal game set up by a teasing spirit: the vegetal world has to behave itself. So take one of these unusual photos home, they are sublime and you don’t need to water them…

Christian Carez,
Le Salon d’art
81 rue Hôtel des Monnaies
1060 Brussels
Until 17 October
Tuesdays-Fridays, from 14:00 to 18:30, Saturdays from 9:30 to 12:00 and from 14:00 to 18:00


Christian Carez, Calathéas, #21


Christian Carez, Calathéas, #12


Christian Carez, Calathéas, #9


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