Artist Blog

Every week an artist whose single image was published by Der Greif is given a platform in which to blog about contemporary photography.

Friendships & encounters : Christopher de Béthune

Oct 30, 2017 - Rebecca Topakian

I can remember the first words I exchanged with Christopher. I was working at Cosmos, the photobook fair of the Rencontres d’Arles in 2016, and he was this insanely tall tattooed guy who worked with Tipi Bookshop. You cannot go to Cosmos and not see him: he is unmissable. Then we had this most awkward conversation: I went to him, asked him if he was belgian, then if he knew the band « Daggers », he said yes, and I said « oh they are my friends » – they were his too. That moment might be when he decided to call me « Black Metal », nickname that he tried to spread in the photobook community. And well, that is how our friendship started. One year later, we were housemates during Les Rencontres d’Arles, along with Romain Pruvost and Sarah Lowie, whom I am going to post later this week.


Chris makes tons of books, zines. Made of his pictures, or of other’s, he just never stops. Though his photography seems to belong to a classical black and white tradition, reminding of a Moriyama legacy, I feel a particular sympathy for his distance, a coldness and modesty that let one enter his intimacy only in snippets. His pictures might be high contrast but still there is a gentleness, something radically personal and solitary, ponctuated with presences, human or animal. His books are small objects, simple in their way, forming together one story of wandering and mystic contemplation. In the end, he might be the one that could be called Black Metal…



“This serie is the result of three years of traveling, from the south to the south.
As we lost ourselves in seven countries, from the north to the north.
We found ourselves. We found others. We bonded.

Dawn over dusk, the unknown road was still ahead, and us, still vulnerable.
This serie is firstly and above everything a love declaration.
A love declaration to the one who took me out of my backyard, my comfort zone.
A love declaration to the one who put me out there, face to face with the plains.
And the plains was favorable to us, as the stars we traveled under.

Three years becoming three thoughts, the urge to saddle up is growing inside, one more time.
One last time, again.”

Christopher de Béthune about his serie Outlands.


Christopher de Béthune was born & raised in Brussels a long time ago.
Autodidact in photography since not so long ago.
Prowling without a cause and worshiping the japanese grandmasters as a daily routine.
Old camera lover, fanzine junkie, film aficionado, black and white devo, yes you can call him a fanatic.