Louis De Belle is a photographer with a special skill for drawing out humour and interesting compositions from subject matter that may appear quite dull if presented by somebody else. The Cartographies series is a perfect example of this. Here, the photographer took notice of the potential in a mundane sight — other people’s bodies. De Belle has taken shots of the torsos of ordinary workers and commuters. Shirts, t-shirts, suits and hi-vis vests stretch and slumped over anonymous people. The close crops of the images take them to abstract territory, making scale not immediately recognisable. Fabric wrinkles, set, and stains tell a story of the everyday.
Failed Dioramas is a series that takes a fascinating look at the interior of a Milanese apartment like no other. The messy abode contains a number of unconventional furnishings, scattered amongst standard furniture and knicknacks. Animal heads, the remains of coral, and various taxidermied creatures peek out from stacks of paper, and creep from under tables. It is a strange arrangement, and De Belle has emphasised the incongruities of these so-called dioramas by honing in on compositions that display maximum contrast.
In Besides Faith, the photographer makes an already strange scene even weirder using similar techniques. This series covers the World Fair for Church supplies and art. Here, dozens of miniature baby Jesuses are displayed for sale, along with Marys in every style and size imaginable. Naked mannequin bodies stand next to religious robes. De Belle snaps some brilliant shots of the attendees, the nuns’ mysterious and turned away from the camera, the bored sales assistants wearing a tad more lipstick than one would expect at such an event. I highly recommend the rest of the series, which you can find here. Find more great work on Louis De Belle’s website. And check out his ventures and collaborations Forms of Formalism and STILL Magazine.