Willy Kessels Rare Photograph from the Film "Borinage"
Medium Silver print
Photo Date 1932-36 Print Date 1932-36
Dimensions 7 x 9-5/8 in. (178 x 244 mm)
Photo Country Belgium
Photographer Country Belgium
Contact Alex Novak and Marthe Smith
About This Image
Kessels ink stamp on verso. This is one of his most important sociological/documentary images. It is very rare and usually only found in the later copies made in 1985 by Editions Contretype. The film was made in several versions but concerned the working conditions in and around the coal mines in the Borinage area. The interior of this image features prominently in the film. Willy Kessels was born in Termonde, Belgium, in January 1898. After completing the Ecole des Beaux Arts of Gent, he went to Brussels and during the 1920s worked there as a sculptor and architectural draftsman. He met Le Corbusier in 1928. He began his photographic career in 1929, considering this as a logical next step to his previous work. He saw in photography a modern means of representing the world. Kessels was very active during the 1920's and 30's, contracting to photograph industrial installations and advertising campaigns. His photo-montages, aerial views, angles and his work with light, illustrate the modern tendency of Belgian photography, which remained heavily influenced by Pictorialism. He is perhaps best known though for his nudes. Kessels died in 1974.
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