In my work there has always been a duality between sticking to reality and trying to stage things.
– Carl De Keyzer
Carl De Keyzer (1958) is a Belgian photographer. Major subjects in his work have included the collapse of the Soviet Union and India. He became a full member of Magnum Photos in 1994. De Keyzer has exhibited his work in many European galleries and has received several awards, including the Book Award from Rencontres d’Arles, the W. Eugene Smith Award, and the Kodak Award.
Carl De Keyzer tackles large-scale themes through an accumulative, expansive approach. He builds up narratives through collected images, which often interact with text (taken from his travel diaries). In a series of large-format prints, he has covered India, the collapse of the Soviet Union, and – more recently – modern-day power and politics in North Korea. His seminal project, God, Inc., captured religious life on the margins of American society. A basic premise in much of his work is that, in overpopulated communities everywhere, disaster has already struck, and infrastructures are on the verge of collapse.
Born in Belgium, De Keyzer’s career as a freelance photographer began in 1982 while he was supporting himself as a photography instructor at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Ghent. At the same time, his interest in the work of other photographers led him to co-found and co-direct the XYZ-Photography Gallery. De Keyzer has worked on assignments for publications including The New York Times, TIME Asia, Rolling Stone, LA Times, and The Guardian. Commercial clients include Coca-Cola, Ernst & Young, Hennessy, Diesel, and Davos World Economic Forum.