Jacques Sonck (Belgium, 1949) shoots classical analogue black-and-white portraits with an eye for the extraordinary. His oeuvre is a celebration of the diversity of humankind. Sonck is attracted by people who stand out from the crowd, either by an anomaly in their appearance or by their extravert attitude. His eccentric models are unique individuals who walk the border of 'normality'.
Sonck finds his exceptional models on the streets of Belgian cities like Antwerp, Ghent and Brussels, and photographs them on the spot, often in front of a neutral background. Regardless of the volatile and anonymous nature of these encounters, Sonck's subjects surrender to him, posing with full pride and self-confidence. Often these portraits have a humorous undertone, stealing a grin from the viewer. In other cases Sonck confronts his audience with deformed individuals, evoking feelings of shame and discomfort. Notwithstanding the confrontational nature of these portraits, Sonck is never guilty of voyeurism or ridicule as he approaches his subjects with distance, without judgment but with a certain softness and respect.
Sonck's first solo show at FIFTY ONE TOO will bring together both old and new work, street and studio portraits.
Press release courtesy Gallery Fifty One Too.