One of my favourite pictures by Belgian photographer Harry Gruyaert is a photograph of two young girls in Ireland. I probably love this photo most, because every element in it, reminds me of being that age myself.
I remember how much I loved a green visor and seeing it’s translucent colour in my shadow.
I can almost taste how sweet a cold can of coke was on a hot day and how it’s bubbles hurt my nose and brought tears to my eyes.
I know how that handle on the radio feels and how it sounds to turn the cassette tape around, or look for a radio station.
I can see how the straps on my sandals looked, with one very large hole in the leather, where the buckle went through.
And I recall the feeling of a sticky watch band, socks that kept sliding down and my fingertips touching a car bonnet heated by the sun.
Each of Harry Gruyaert’s photographs feels like a movie still, in which the deep Kodachrome colour palette carries you away to a different place. Though people are often present, they are just part of the overall scene…and maybe that’s the magic of Gruyaert’s work- they’re a part of a bigger story and you can easily take their place for a short moment.
Then you become the story.
* all photographs copyright ©Harry Gruyaert