A color field photographic exhibition by Simon de Haast

Comedian George Carlin coined the term “vujà dé” to mean the opposite of the French idiom “déjà vu”. He describes the experience of something familiar as if it were strange and new.

Simon de Haast’s photography is of everyday objects and scenes where he plays with movement, curiosity, light and color, in a way that triggers an exploration of his own story, seeing the familiar of a new way and capturing it using pixels, computational photography, and breaking the rules. Another way to describe his work is as a photographic version of found object art.

“I draw inspiration from Color Field artists such as Barnett Newman, Helen Frankenthaler and of course Mark Rothko, to produce large format archival prints.”

–Simon de Haast

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Innovation is partly driven by finding a way to break the rules and escape the conventional way of doing things. Innovators are able to look at familiar situations and see them with new eyes, because this new perspective helps them become aware of opportunities and possibilities that no one else noticed. Artists have been doing this for centuries, experimenting with paint chemistry, styling techniques and media.

Likewise, with Simon’s art, he defies the various rules of photography such as keeping the camera still during long exposures. Instead, it moves the camera or object to allow pixels to paint. Keeping the lens attached to the camera body is another rule it breaks; free lens is a technique of detaching the lens and holding it just in front of the frame. It’s also a great way to keep sensor dust cleaning services running.

“Each image has a backstory to how I ‘saw’ it, and very little post-processing is done. What appears here is as the sensor recorded it. – Simon deHaast

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Simon de Haast (b. 1968) grew up in Kwazulu-Natal and resides in Cape Town, Western Cape. He has used a camera in one form or another for over 40 years, including filming rock bands for Rolling Stone SA magazine. So don’t be surprised to see references to rock bands resonating through some of his images.

“I’m completely self-taught, from working with a fixer in the darkroom to understanding composition and exposure,” says the artist.

Simon believes in the idea of ​​a portfolio life and expresses himself in other work he does for an advertising agency as an innovation manager, where he helps clients with vujà dé, see the old things in a new light.

“So it’s only natural that this creative heartbeat finds its way into my photography, a place I’ve always felt like my artistic home and allowing me to combine art and technology.” explains Simon de Haast.

Simon deHaast. Image: Provided

Opening of the exhibition on April 7andit coincides with Cape Town First Thursdays initiative. Visit the event page for full exhibit details.

Michael E. Marquez