Tom Stappers’ work in this exhibition represents the aesthetic reflex. The photographer looks at the outside world to see what all of us others no longer see, because we are a little tired and lead our lives absorbed by our own thoughts and sorrows. He rediscovers for us the visible reality and shows us how fascinating and disturbing, how beautiful it can be. To this end he uses an adequate aestheticising imagery which owes a lot to the adventure of modern art. We experience the same urban atmosphere. I’m not surprised to hear that Stappers is also a jazz photographer. The urban atmosphere – and in a way the atmosphere of the artistic live photography of the 1950’s and 1960’s with its graffiti and “la beauté du laid” [the beauty of ugliness].
(spoken introduction at Egypt exhibition, CC Hasselt, Belgium, by Karel van Deuren (1921-2006) ©1995) translation of this quote: TS.