Born and raised in Belgium, Willy Vanderperre is a photographer and filmmaker. Based in Antwerp, the city that became his home when he entered the Royal Academy of Fine Arts there to study fashion, he made the switch to photography while still at the college. Seeing photography as a more direct way to express his impulses in fashion, nevertheless his background in design has given him both an intuitive feel for clothing and an extensive knowledge of the design process. Today, he produces both influential and highly regarded fashion editorial shoots and advertising campaigns each season. Campaign highlights include Raf Simons, Christian Dior, Dior Homme, Jil Sander and Prada. Additionally, he is a featured editorial contributor to a host of high-profile magazines including LOVE, W Magazine, AnOther, AnOther Man, Vogue Hommes International and American Vogue.
In recent years, other projects have gone beyond the bounds of fashion and immersed him in the worlds of contemporary dance-theatre, the instantaneous nature of Instagram and extended narrative filmmaking. For his 2014 book The Power of Theatrical Madness II, Vanderperre spent a prolonged period of time working with and documenting Jan Fabre’s company during the revival of the dance-theatre production The Power of Theatrical Madness in 2012. Late 2015 saw the publication of 635, a book that records each of the photographer’s Instagram posts up until the point of the publication’s printing. January 2016 witnessed the premiere of Willy Vanderperre’s film Naked Heartland at London’s ICA, marking his debut as a fully-fledged film director; the accompanying book Naked Heartland is a concentration on stills from the film. Both highlight Vanderperre’s preoccupations with youth, isolation and the redemptive power of pop culture; a refrain that echoes throughout Willy Vanderperre’s career and images.