When I was asked to come up with a window display for Labels Inc., an exclusive fashion boutique in the heart of Antwerp, I knew that I wanted to do a photographic still life. Taking inspiration from Flemish Baroque painting, photography student Lucas and I delved into the world of momento mori (remember death) through a great deal of research. The idea of reflecting mortality is one that has been around for ages. By juxtaposing the perfumes with the dead fish, it somehow seemed to regard perfumes and scent as a pure celebration of life while at the same time paying homage to the tradition of Flemish still lifes.
We went down to the local fish shop Fin & Flounder on Broadway Market, who have such beautiful displays and the freshest fish. I just had to have this fabulously ugly Hake for my photograph. Keeping the fish on ice during the shoot was very important because I intended to keep it all for eating. As soon as we got the shot, all the fish went directly into the very capable hands of Andy who butchered it up. What we couldn't eat immediately was sous vide, packed into our freezer, and ready to eat for rainy nights like tonight.
Aside from Andy and Lucas, I really have to thank Ken & Erika at Projectile Presence for the inspiration and opportunity.