Photographer Daniel Van Tongerloo, aka Atrayoux (as a nod to the film The Neverending Story), comes back on his artistic intentions and talks about his upcoming exhibition in November 2017 at the Salon de la Photographie in Paris:
The Artist’s History
As a child, the youngest in a family of 5 children whose parents were boatmen, I used to travel a lot. Once, one of my uncles came back from Asia with a little monkey who lived with us for over 15 years. Therefore, my childhood was marked with travels and animals. A day trip to a zoo was always such an excitement for me because it was so rare. Later on, I kept travelling regularly for my job. A few years ago, as a former Quality Manager of Satellite Operations at the European Space Agency, and currently working as an entrepreneur, I felt the need to escape somehow. One day in 2009, I found myself checking out my wife’s camera. Indeed, she used to take a lot of pictures, particularly family photographs. I started going through the user guide. This is how my photographic adventure began. My wife supports me in my artistic expression and we always go together.
His Artistic Expression
I started by doing photo shoots with models, assisted by my wife who took care of the mak-up and the scenography. As a result, I have tried a wide range of different photo themes. I chose wildlife photography and landscape photography since it both stroke a balance and gave me the opportunity to enjoy my trips and the outstanding landscapes I crossed path with differently. Indeed, back when we were living in the Netherlands, there were a lot of wildlife parks and mind-blowing landscapes. As I reviewed the pictures I took, I would almost always prefer the wild animals’ portraits, especially the ones in black and white. My goal is to bring out the beauty of the animals in order to share with the audience a slice of life I froze.
The Evolvement of the Artist
I just finished my first photographic series entitled “Black and Wild” which is composed of animals’ portraits in black and white. The idea was to find the way to best represent them and their symbols: their fierce, their personality, the texture of their skin, furs or feathers. I wanted to pay tribute to their natural, if not mystical, beauty. Indeed, I am fascinated by wild animals, which is also why I became the apprentice of a Belgian falconer in 2005. It is a kind of inspiration that is infinite. Consequently, I have decided to push my artistic intentions forward by photographing wild animals in their natural habitat. In this context, the project of going on an observation trip to Africa is a work in progress.
On November 9th, 2017, I will exhibit my photographs for the first time as part of the Salon de la Photo at Porte de Versailles in Paris. When I came back to France in 2015, I immediately went attended the photography fair. This year, we participate with the intention of spreading the words out about the work to the audience. A dozen of photographs extracted from the series “Black and Wild” will be exhibited. Indeed, we selected to ones that moved us the most. One of my favorites is entitled “Dark Shadows” and represents a mystical lion by playing on the shades of black. For several years, I have been building a community through social media with which I share my work and discuss photography. I am very involved in this community and regularly post pictures, including some that make people smile and help them feel better. Sometimes, some of them ask me to tag along upon one of my photographic trips. Therefore, we invited the fans to the exhibition and are expecting about 30 of them to show up.
The Artist and Art-Trope
As an entrepreneur, I feel I can move people through my work. However, I did not get the chance to build a strong network with exhibitors such as the galleries. It is impossible for Artists to be everywhere and deal with everything at the same time! My wife went on Art-Trope’s website and had the opportunity to discuss with the team. The interview went really well. We need help both in terms of communication and networking. Having the opinion and the support of an expert outsider is essential to keep going forward and develop my career. In that context, Art-Trope can guide us through the Fine Arts market.
See Atrayoux’s Art-Trope profile here.
Read our article about our partner Videotelling here.