Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Dutch photographer Niki Feijen's urban exploration masterpieces

I first came across the work of Dutch photographer Niki Feijen a couple months ago, when I saw a jaw-dropping gallery of his work in a MailOnline article that was tantalizingly titled "Family life frozen in time: Eerie images of the abandoned farm houses where even the beds are still made."

I'd love to be an urbex photographer, but, at this point, probably wisely, my (very) amateur photography is limited to exterior shots.1

Feijen's work, however, is a real treat. He gave me permission to post the above photograph on Papergreat. His accompanying information states: "The impressive stained glass window of 'Chateau Clochard'. This 15th century castle located in a small French village was an icon for urban explorers. Several pianos were left behind by the former owners who abandoned it over a decade ago. Sadly a fire ravaged the remains of the castle in 2012. Only the outer walls remain."

You can view much of Feijen's work in the galleries on his website, The Art of Urbex. And you can also check out and like his Facebook page, where photographs are regularly featured. I should also point out that he has a limited-edition book, "Disciples of Decay," that is still available.

Here are links to some of my favorite photographs by Feijen, from his extensive galleries, that I don't want you to miss:2

1. Here are links to some of my exterior shots of falling-down things:
2. Some commenters on Huffington Post and MailOnline argue that some of Feijen's shots are staged and employ props and therefore it's not true urbex photography. I believe that's a distinct possibility, but I don't think that takes anything away from what he's achieved, artistically, with these haunting shots.

UPDATE: Official response from Feijen, regarding props: "I never bring any props … it would be just to dangerous. If I get out of a building and (have) stuff in my hands I would be arrested for theft."

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