Peter Day

“Making Small Talk with Baudelaire 11”


“I consider it useless and tedious to represent what exists, because nothing that exists satisfies me. Nature is ugly, and I prefer the monsters of my fantasy to what is positively trivial.” Charles Baudelaire, poet and art critic. They are undeniably photos, and yet my work might be said to be almost non-photographic. The subject is not important, only the intrinsic value of the image. I reduce my models to a form, line, concept or theme. This results in picturesque contours, the monsters of my fantasy. Struck by our corresponding view on art, I started a dialogue with the art critic Charles Baudelaire in a series of photographs called Making Small Talk with Baudelaire, a conversation in which we agree and disagree, push and pull and sharpen our views.


I graduated in 1990 from the Royal Academy of Visual Arts (The Hague) and did internships with Dutch and internationally-renowned photographers Erwin Olaf and Paul de Nooijer. My work is represented by Galerie Baudelaire (Belgium). My work can be found in the collections of photographer Erwin Olaf, choreographer Hans van Manen, the University of Pennsylvania and Roy Kahmann, art collector and owner of Kahmann Gallery (Amsterdam).

Selected by Julian Cox, Chief Curator at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.