Photographer Ersen Sariozkan grew up in the Belgian Ardennes, and much of his work personalizes or makes intimate public space, whether it is in distilled yet richly saturated scenes of night stories, or in portraits of communities such as imprisoned illegal immigrants. In some work, Ersen follows a journalistic or documentary style, whereas the dramatic series Red is clearly a narratival fantasy, the deep night color, the moments of ephemeral drama, crystalline and theatrical.
The color red -the symbol of love, of blood thirstiness, of birth and death, of flesh and fertility. In these painterly photos of the deep vermillion element, alone, lit by night….contemporary surreal scenes with momentary glimpses of tragedy, loneliness, strangeness..
“The Red series highlights my belief that color, light, and composition the most important elements of art. In fact in my last two exhibitions this series was presented in a painting like format (80×56).”
Revolution (Vottem -Prison of innocents)
As well, Ersen’s work often focuses on social justice issues such as we see in the long term series Revolution (Vottem -Prison of innocents).
“This series focuses on the closed centers for illegals in Belgium –the fight is followed in the work in a journalistic spirit in a sense.”
RB: How do you seek out your subjects, establish trust, and decide where you will travel?
ES: Light and color draw me to a place, like in Cuba and Cyprus, and I am also interested in depicting regional social issues.
RB: What is your technique? What cameras, processes, or tools do you use?
ES: My technique is by instinct, I don’t really have any rules. For staging I use a full frame reflex for higher quality. For street photography and reporting, I vary in my choices but use the APSC (compact type XPRO). I also use analog cameras.