A peculair way of looking at the world: Bert Danckaert’s ‘Simple Present’ at Roberto Polo

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Talking about foreign gallerists, Brussels and Belgian artists… Then one just has to mention Roberto Polo, the flamboyant Cuban-American art collector who’s opened a gallery in Brussels last year (near Zavel/Sablon) to promote Belgian art. So far Polo has presented work by Jan Vanriet, Jan De Vliegher and Koen De Cock. Now is an excellent moment to discover the gallery as Polo presents an extensive selection of photographs by Bert Danckaert (through Nov. 3). Simple Present is a project the Antwerp photographer and teacher began in Belgium in 2007, until he discovered that wherever he travelled (18 cities/4 continents), the world sort of looked the same. I like the way Danckaert makes an almost abstract, ‘flat’ composition with the elements the real world hands him, but seeing a large collection of his pictures makes you wonder: hasn’t that peculiar way of looking become too much of a trick along the way? No wonder Danckaert has started photographing people and animals too? You’ll be able to see some of that recent work at Bozar. There’s also a book published on the occasion of these exhibitions. You’ll find more of Danckaert’s work on his website. (images: courtesy Roberto Polo Gallery)

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