September 29, 2012

Dries Van Noten

copyright Scott Schuman
I am thrilled to be able to show you yet another national hero, Belgian fashion designer Dries Van Noten as photographed by Scott Schuman, aka The Sartorialist,  author of
You can read Dries Van Noten's  bio here:
and look at what he was showing in Paris here:

September 28, 2012

A taste of Belgium in Cincinnati

Guest blogger Virginia
Birmingham Alabama Daily Photo blog
Today I feel like showing Belgian waffles cooked in Cincinnati! I am thrilled to have Virginia as a guest blogger and share her posting on a recent Belgium related trip.
I had the privilege and great pleasure of meeting Virginia a year ago. Virginia is a wonderful, delightful lady, competent photographer, active blogger, lover of all things Paris. She is the author of two photography blogs:  Paris through my lens and Birmingham Alabama Daily Photo (links below).
This is Virginia's report of her trip to Cincinnati: 
"This trip I put A Taste of Belgium on my list.  We lunched there in January, and now that I'm friends with Anni in Brussels ( This is Belgium ), I had to go back for photos!  Located on Race Street in Cincinnati, you can have some authentic Belgium waffles as well as frites!  They were nice enough to let me prowl around with my camera as the waffles were being cooked".

September 27, 2012

French Community of Belgium celebrates today.

It might be somewhat complicated to keep up with Belgium's official (federal and regional) holidays:  the national one on July 21, the Flemish one on July 11, the German-speaking community day on November 15. 
The French Community celebrates today, September 27. This day is chosen because the Dutch army under the command of the son of William of Orange, withdrew its troops from Brussels on September 27, 1830.

September 24, 2012

Els Hattink, painter and photographer

As the local elections are approaching, any occasion is good for candidates to be seen in public. In the margin of an exhibiton of the Kunstkring (Art cercle) in Strombeek/Grimbergen (about 15 km from Brussels) politicians of different colors from different parties are present in the same bar and are not, if you judge by these photos,  all that much interested in the artistic event.
I was there because of my friend Els Hattink. Els is a photographer and painter. She participated in this exhibition with her paintings of which two are shown above together with her self portrait (photos 1 and 2). Do visit her website at

September 22, 2012

Sol LeWitt in Leuven

If you are in or near Leuven the coming days or weeks, go have a look at this unique exhibition at Museum M. I just realized that I simply forgot to write about it and quickly checked the date. There is still time. The drawings will be in place till October 14. The quality of my two photos is "so so"; they were taken with my phone. I did not carry a camera because I expected not to be allowed to take pictures. I hope they are good enough to show you what I am talking about. I truly enjoyed this major installation of LeWitt's work here in Belgium.
"The unique exhibition gathers twenty-four wall drawings in color by the American conceptual artist Sol LeWitt (1928-2007). LeWitt’s wall drawings marked, from the late 1960s on, a revolutionary development in the history of contemporary art. The monumental drawings are executed directly on the walls, according to the artist’s instructions and diagrams. Between 1968 and 2007, LeWitt created more than 1200 wall drawings.
M’s exhibition of twenty-four works is the first major presentation in Belgium of LeWitt’s emblematic practice. Following the chronological evolution of the artist’s oeuvre, the exhibition is organized according to the media LeWitt used in color, namely pencil, crayon, India ink and acrylic paint. In addition to the wall drawings, a wide selection of LeWitt’s artis’ts books is on view as well as a documentary film about the making of the wall drawings at M.
Drafters execute the wall drawings directly on the walls. The drawings adapt to the scale of the exhibition space.  The first drawings were already executed by others artists. At M, professional drafters trained by the LeWitt studio were assisted by about seventy young artists and students from Belgian art schools. The wall drawings exist only for the duration of their exhibition".

September 20, 2012

Almost the end of summer

It is the summer's great last heat,

It is the fall's first chill: They meet.

–Sarah Morgan Bryan Piatt

September 18, 2012

Flemish Parliament Unlocked

The Academy of Anderlecht (Brussels) concludes its celebration of 40 years of artistic activity with the exhibition "Unlocked"  in the buildings of the Flemish Parliament in Brussels. Unlocked is an appropriate name since the building was formerly the Postal Cheque office with the protected counter room "the Loketten".
As provincial and municipal elections take place this October, it seems to me that politicians of all different stripes are more present in the street scene. In the second picture is shown Pascal Smet (SPA,  socialist party) (at the left smiling) Flemish Minister of Education and Carla Dejonghe (VLD,  liberal party) member of the Brussels Parliament.

September 16, 2012

Meeting Walter in Charleroi

On the way back home from my mini-holiday in Italy, I had the pleasure of meeting fashion designer Walter Van Beirendonck. 
He was waiting for his luggage at the Charleroi airport. As he was such a good sport to us paparazzi who recognized him, I asked him how he felt about traveling being a celebrity and he answered that this is just part of the game. 
I also did ask him for permission to take his photograph but forgot to mention that I had a posting on This is Belgium in mind. I assume and hope he will approve.
Walter  graduated from the Antwerp Fashion Academy in 1980. Together with Dirk Van Saene, Dries Van Noten, Ann Demeulemeester, Marina Yee and Dirk Bikkembergs, he became known as one of the Antwerp Six, a group of pioneers and very influential fashion designers who graduated from the Antwerp Academy in the period 1980-1981. 
You can read more about Walter Van Beirendonck and have a look at his collection on the link below.

September 14, 2012

Photographers (3)

As you know, photographers in action is a favorite subject.

September 13, 2012

The people of Lille

By now you are able to tell that I have trouble getting off the subject "Lille". Time to move on ... but first a few typical Lille people scenes. 
I have been gone for a short holiday and apologize for not having been able to look at your work and comment on your blogs. I will catch up in the coming days.

September 10, 2012

Lille, its goodies

It is almost mandatory that a trip to Lille includes a visit to patisserie Meert, Lille's oldest tearoom with the famous waffles filled with sweet Madagascar vanilla. They were adored by Charles de Gaulle, who was born in Lille and would buy a box or two to present as gifts to visiting dignitaries. It is said that they were a favorite of Belgium's King Leopold.
I also found beer from Wallonia and butter from Flanders ... not to mention a ubiquitous Dutch cheese.

September 08, 2012

Lille - architecture

 A lot of Flemish influence in Lille's architecture. In the last picture, for instance, the Musée de l'Hospice, was home to a hospital founded  in 1237 by Jeanne, Countess of Flanders, for the poor in the city. The ground floor of the museum recreates a typical Flemish house centuries ago.

September 06, 2012

Lille part 1

Coming from Belgium, one has to cross the border to visit Lille in Northern France of course but even so I assume that most visitors from Belgium do not experience the international travel feeling that goes with going abroad.
The Palais des Beaux-Arts in Lille is showing BABEL, a contemporary exhibition on the theme of the most famous of architectural allegories in art history : the Tower of Babel. BABEL features a set of paintings, photographs, sculptures, installations, films and original comic strips illustrating the many facets of the Babel myth in contemporary art. In keeping with the Bible story, the selection addresses the building and destruction of the Tower as well as its symbolic aspect. From German painter Anselm Kiefer through to British artists Jake and Dinos Chapman, the allegories illustrate the episodes in Genesis that resonate with our world as we know it. 
In an adjacent room is a model of Ypres where some of the most important battles of WWI took place.

September 04, 2012

Fun in the sun

When the sun is out, Place Flagey in Ixelles is a favorite spot.  Often while people watching I wonder where everyone is from. The three men in the first picture for instance.. I am almost certain that they are Italians, do you agree? 
And of course, Belgian beer is always present, it even matches some customer's socks -:). 

September 03, 2012

Markt, Belgian restaurant in New York

It is true that if feels a little strange to walk into a restaurant in NYC and first thing you see is a text in Dutch about the North Sea on the wall. From the website about 'Markt':
Markt is a precise and detailed recreation of a classic Belgian brasserie in New York’s Chelsea/Flatiron district. With our antique bar and furniture, expansive selection of Belgian beers, and authentic Belgian cuisine, guests will enjoy a true Belgian dining experience in this welcoming and cozy spot.