Harry Fayt, the man who photographs the Belgian stars underwater


Its aesthetics sublimate faces and bodies in underwater mode. Harry Fayt has made the theme of water the central element of his work as a photographer. And his models, anonymous as famous personalities, trust him. For a bewitching result.

His book Rebirth, with magnificent nudes evolving like sirens, was published this year but, for now, Harry Fayt is exhibiting at the Liehrmann Gallery in Liège with a very different perspective from his usual series, a beautiful reflection on trees.

However, the photographer will quickly return to his priority areas of interest, putting Belgian personalities in situation with “Heart Made In Belgium” or even the reinterpretation of the major art themes with “Modern Icons”, continuing his astonishing approach at bottom of the pools!

Kid Noize © Harry Fayt

Born in Charleroi but living in Liège, Harry Fayt explored photography from different angles: music, cinema, fashion, babies, family… Until he found his way with underwater photography in which he excelled. Would it be his successful quest? “Underwater photography is neither a stage among others nor an arrival. I wanted to become a photographer by leafing through fashion magazines when I was 15. But I turned to alternative rock photos through a friend who worked in this industry. It is by taking concert photos that the desire to devote myself to personalities tickled me. I still had to find an original niche. While photographing baby swimmers, I had the idea of ​​doing the same work with adults that I could stage. The concept took shape. In 2012, I had the opportunity to collaborate with Typh Barrow, and I joined my project to photograph Belgian personalities. Taking pictures underwater makes a lasting impression. We are few in number and the field of possibilities therefore remains enormous. “

At the bottom of the pool

A bit like a director would, the photographer is on the lookout for the slightest inspiration, imagines staging, develops a scenario. “I dive into my reservoir of ideas, I note all the possibilities that are presented to me. As soon as I think of something, I list it in my iPhone: a photo, a crush in a museum, a current event… Most of the people to whom I have offered to photograph them underwater have accepted. “

A captivating series follows with Pierre Kroll, Kid Noize, Jean-Luck Fonck, Stéphanie Crayencour, Nicola Testa… “I have a whole team with me: a make-up artist, one or two divers, an assistant… These are real small productions that can take several days. I invest myself totally, develop the sets and assemble them with my collaborators who also ensure underwater to reassure the models and their safety. I shot a video with the artist Sidoine. A heavier process but that I adored and I intend to shoot a short film soon. “

The Rebirth series magnifies the nude. © Harry Fayt

Harry Fayt’s artistic approach is also perpetuated in his Liège studio, Heritage Studio, where he offers more classic portraits of families and babies. But underwater photography is increasingly taking precedence over its other activities. “I mainly work at the Waremme swimming pool because I have my habits there. It can happen that we go elsewhere, to a client or even to Nemo 33 in Brussels, the day we needed a very great depth. “ The photographer never ceases to arouse enthusiasm and benefits from the fervent support of Wallonia-Brussels International WBI.

I live a rebirth by water

Family, babies, pregnancies, and a book Rebirth, reference to the rebirth of an artist in perpetual quest and to the painting of the Italian Renaissance. The approach appears consistent. “My very first photos taken as a student were caesarean section photos that had been very popular at the time. The circle has come full circle and I am experiencing a rebirth through water. My relationship with childhood is joyful, I grew up surrounded by very loving parents. I have no real nostalgia because I have remained a big child. Let’s say I had a long adolescence! I have always been a very passionate person. Son of bakers, I saw my parents working eighteen hours a day. A sort of free electron, I had decided that I would only do what I wanted. However, I multiplied odd jobs before breaking through. As soon as I was able to develop my own project, I started my baby photos in 2005. I moved to Liège in 2006 where I have most of my friends. I had a one-year break in the USA in 2009, I opened my studio in New York, everything was going wonderfully but visa problems forced me to return to Belgium. I then went back to shooting underwater. I don’t believe in chance, if something misses it’s because something better awaits me elsewhere. “

Harry Fayt © DR

What would be the definition of a beautiful portrait for this inventive photographer? “For many, it will be a photo embodying the soul and inner beauty of the person. But for my part, I prefer offbeat and staged portraits rather than introspective ones. I love the work of David Lachapelle or Tim Walker. My dream would be to bring Jean-Claude Van Damme and Benoît Poelvoorde into my world! “

Expo Palaver trees
until October 20 Galerie Liehrmann in Liège.

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On track !
Spotlight on the work of many
Liège galleries and art centers. Harry Fayt is among the
contemporary artists put forward. 25> 29.10.2019


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