Wouter van Buuren: Acrobat and Photographer
An artist is born to create, and when you pair that creativity with a sense of adventure and fearlessness, you get Wouter van Buuren. This 39-year old Dutch photographer risks his life scaling buildings, or anything for that matter, for vantage points high enough to make the landscape seem as if it is being seen from a satellite in space. He then captures the complete 360 degree view in 100 or more separate photographs, stitched together with no Photoshop alteration.
Buuren has been described as an “acrobat” by some and crazy by many. He travels the world to compile his stereographic shots, each one as breathtaking as the last. Some of his most interesting work is in China, as the density of buildings offers a varied and interesting skyline.
“I started to make the total landscapes in the Netherlands when I was climbing electricity pylons,” Buuren tells Co.Design. “I was stunned by the beauty of the landscape I thought I knew so well. From above the mundane seemed more divine. So I continued to do this and extended this to cranes, bridges and buildings and other countries all over the world.”
Buuren has climbed to dizzying heights, composing the shots, feeling the adrenaline, and finally, putting the pieces of the collage together. This kind of adventure is almost addicting to Buuren, as it becomes not just a work of art, but also an expression and proof that he has risked his life to capture what you a see.
But where, you might ask, was his most dangerous location? “A ladder outside a high-rise building on the 55th floor,” he says. “Because I didn’t bring a security belt, I had to tightly grip my hands on the small roof platform. …It’s funny how you can get used to heights. After a while I have no problem walking over the edge without any security, as long as there’s no wind.”
The shots where he puts himself into the composition give you a sense of the danger and the human element involved in his daring masterpieces. Buuren’s work is currently on traveling exhibition through Europe. If you are ever lucky enough to be able to see these pieces in person, we strongly recommend it.
Images from http://www.scapes.nl