Selected Works

Luc Dratwa is a Belgian photographer, born in 1958 and currently living in Brussels. A self-taught, his rigorousness and perfectionism ally themselves with a graphic oeuvre and a narrative spirit, bringing to his works a seldom seen force. Best known for his series of photographs taken from the 76th floor of Rockefeller Center with a view of the Empire State Building in New York City. Dratwa’s influences go from Baroque paintings to contemporary photographers, and from it his specific style emerges: from the tumultuousness of the world, loud and disorganized, he makes images that appear to be constructed with rigorousness and clarity, where everything is harmony, perfection, and nothing is left to chance.

Exhibited in the four corners of the world, Luc Dratwa’s works never leave someone indifferent. In his photographs, Dratwa is able to catch people as they gaze at astonishing views. The images typically consist of three planes: the character, the window and the city, brought together through Dratwa’s lenses.  Sometimes they invite the viewer to travel, but more often they invite him to introspection. The complexity of humanity and the impossibility to define the concept of life lead Dratwa to only let the traces of human creation pose in front of his lens. Deserted public places at night are like witnesses of the history of men, of any one of us, as if we were looking into a mirror.

Luc Dratwa has been exposed throughout the world in many art galleries and salons. His exhibitions are always complete expressions of the artist, mixing of course his photographs, but also his video works. He has been featured in exhibitions in Rome, Paris, Tokyo and New York. He explains his passion, “Among all media, photography is the only one that allows you to make a departure from the real world. It allows you to move towards a whole other sublimated reality. With photography, the blank page, canvas or space simply doesn’t exist. Removing oneself from actuality to arrive at another reality is intoxicating. Photography is simple – and that is what makes it so complex!” An autodidact, he became editor of the design and architecture magazine Domino, and has always had a passion for the arts. He enjoyed painting as a young man, but later turned to photography, a process he describes as finding his vocation.

He has a number of influences and says that he draws inspiration and creative strength from the heritage of Baroque painters and in the work of Edward Hopper, Meyerowitz and even from writers. For Luc Dratwa, every subject he tackles is as much a story as it is a photographic work. “I write stories, where others would translate them into music, poetry or novels. I tell my stories on photo paper” – Luc Dratwa