Wouter Deruytter was born in 1967 in Roeselare, Belgium. He studied at the Royal Academy for Fine Arts in Ghent. As a young photographer he did photographic sessions with Maurice Béjart and Keith Haring with whom he did co-productions. Shortly thereafter Deruytter moved to New York to study at the International Center for Photography. There he was taught by people like Nan Goldin, Duane Michals and Bruce Weber.
Around 1998, sex grew larger and more demanding than ever in New York. Outsized billboards sprang up all over the place proferring chic underwear and moky glances. Wouter Deruytter, a Belgian with 12 books and catalogues to his credit, took note. Now transplanted to New York (but really a world traveler in pursuit of photographic subjects), Deruytter had previously mulled over the roles people are slotted into or the roles they play: drag queens, the artists McDermott and McGough, Arab princes in a modern world, circus performers, cowboys. The models on New York’s billboards play directed roles for an instant or two; these turn out to have long lives on paper. Deruytter claims that he began photographing them because it was his only chance to photograph such gorgeous models. But after 9/11, which made him realize how intensely he loved the city, he took to the streets with a passion for the newest New York. He almost got arrested once for photographing too near a bridge, though he was only in search of the terrors and pleasures of ads. Billboards New York Wouter Deruytter by Vicki Goldberg
Catalog of an exhibition at the Caermersklooster, Ghent, April 28 to June 18, 2006 | Text by Johan Seinnen. | 60 pages.