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THE BRUSSELS THAT NO ONE KNOWS

 

My secret photographer: Cas Oorthuys

 

 

Born in Leiden in 1908, the Dutch photographer Cas Oorthuys took photographs of Brussels in 1947 and 1958. Most are now in the Rotterdam Photography Museum, but a small exhibition in the town hall on Grand'Place gives a sample of his works. 

 

Oorthuys was a radical artist who embraced progressive ideals like Communism and pacificism. He started out in the 1930s as a photographer of working class life and later worked for the Dutch Resistance as a clandestine photographer. After the war, he turned to photo reportage and photo books.

 

His black and white photographs of Brussels capture the energy and optimism of the postwar years. Oorthuys was drawn to the neon-lit boulevards, the crowds on Place de Brouckčre and the gleaming new Sabena air terminal next to Central Station. He captures Brussels as a glamorous, modern city looking to the future. No one has ever made the city look so seductive.

 

The exhibition is at the Maison du Roi, Grand Place, until

December 31, 2012. 

 

 

The 5 best places

to see street art

 

 

01 Rue Chaufferette 25 »

Three fat, lazy sleeping pigs outside a former butcher's shop in an alley that no one ever uses. Signed by Roa.

 

No. 359 in The 500 Hidden Secrets of Brussels

 

02 Rue des Chandeliers »

An old flight of steps from the 14th century leads past some creative graffiti.

 

No. 356 in The 500 Hidden Secrets of Brussels

 

03 Natural History Museum »

Bonom sprayed lifesize iguanodon skeletons on the walls outside the Museum of Natural History.

 

No. 357 in The 500 Hidden Secrets of Brussels

 

04 Rue du Chęne 7 »

Jef Aerosol stencilled John Lennon, Bruce Springsteen, Jim Morrison and Bob Dylan on the wall of a second hand record store. 

 

No. 358 in The 500 Hidden Secrets of Brussels

 

05 Rue de la Gouttičre 6  »

A blank wall has been sprayed with delicate artworks by Logan Hicks, Lucy McLaughlin and Ephameron.

 

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