Interview with the photographer Paul Bulteel

Please introduce yourself to us !

My profile as a photographer is maybe somewhat unusual. My professional career was not in photography but developed as a senior industry manager. At the same time I have a lifelong strong interest in culture and art. Photography enables my creative expression.

How did you come to photography ?

As a boy I was already fascinated about the possibility to freeze time and space through photography. My first camera was a reflex camera of Russian making, an affordable choice for a student on a low budget. Since then the story went on…

524_4cad33462c2538de880612712191dee6Photography by Paul Bulteel, winterrreise 08, 2016, 80 x 20 cm

What do you appreciate most about your work?

Well, up to others to appreciate or not my work. But let’s say that I try to bring images that contents wise are meaningful and provide insight to the human condition, often brought with a touch or irony, and accompanied by great care for composition and colour and by a preference for a more panoramic rather than a close-up approach.

622_4dbb6d156ddc41ccaec92c46b1963738Photography by Paul Bulteel, Figurants 20, 2013, 60 x 90 cm

Where do you get your inspiration from ?

By travelling and walking around. It is not the camera but a pair of good walking shoes that leads me to my images.

622_29905d24485615947e2e8fefdc580f65Photography by Paul Bulteel, Figurants 14, 2013, 60 x 90 cm

Do you have a vision of what your artistic future might look like ?

When you look to actual trends in photography you see a strong focus on documentary series with precisely defined subjects on the one hand, and on very personal expression on the other hand. These approaches are definitely sources of great photography. My own series “cycle & recycle” is an example of focused documentary work.
However, my core work will continue to concentrate on the more universal subject of how we human beings interact with the larger environment. Landscapes, interior views and human scenes will all be part of that unfolding and restless story. My ambition is to bring content and form together in telling images that connect to the viewer, that are timeless, that have staying power.

Can you tell us a bit about the idea and process of making “biggest little universes” ?

In our urbanized society we have created zillions of walls, physically but also mentally. We move from one confined space to another. Sometimes we are in harmony with such environment, at other moments we are as strangers in a world not of our own making. Each space in which we move or live or that we visit is a little world of its own with a special character and atmosphere with which we interact. “Biggest little universes” therefore brings interior views with a strong identity, at the same time void of human presence and impregnated by that presence.

photoPhotography by Paul Bulteel, biggest little universes 02, 2011, 60 x 90 cm

Which artists do you admire?

I really prefer not to mention specific names as I feel embedded in the artistic heritage of different periods, different world regions, and different art forms : not only the visual arts but also literature, architecture and music.

Paul Bulteel’s Singulart Profile:

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