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Wouter Deruytter - Houston & Crosby Street (2004) & Fifth Avenue & 56th Street (2005)
Wouter Deruytter moved from Roeselaren in Belgium to New York in the beginning of the nineties to study photography at the International Center of Photograpy. Quickly after his arrival he focussed his lens on this very photogenic city. He was fascinated by the role the abundant advertisements played in the townscape. The billboards of megolamaniac proportions allow the half naked models on them to hover over the city as the ghost of unachievable perfection. Their sultry looks and gorgeous bodies have an almost threatening character in Deruytters photo’s.
By using these models as larger than life residents Wouter Deruytter made New York into a city of giants. The people passing underneath almost seem subjects to this contemporary Olympus. These new commercial gods are scaled to the skyscrapers instead of the public which seems to create a whole new layer of existence within the city. Between these layers an often ironic meeting between hypercapitalist display of power and the daily life of the New Yorkers takes place. Sensuous scenes of affection that should sell underwear are collectively ignored by the passersby. One wonders how far these scenes must go to be noticed at all.