After studying printing and graphic design, it was the fascination with the image that naturally led Jean-Dominique Burton to photography.
Like an archaeologist or an ethnologist, he examines the traces on the ground, the scars, the masked faces, the faces of artists or collectors.
In 2005 Burton arrived in the West-African country, Burkina Faso, to begin a complete black and white portrait gallery on the Naabas: traditional chiefs, kings and even the emperor, with power and wisdom, chosen from a diversity of the twelve cultural entities of the country (Mossi, Lobi, Bobo, Gan, Bissa)
The face-to-face work of Burton with the Naabas shows realistic, but raw images. Each king is on his throne, without any entourage or assistance. Disturbing elements have been taken out of the frames; Burton captured a moment of timeless waiting, while traveling from village to village with only his compact photo studio. This contemporary photography is depicted as traditional royal portrait paintings.
His project ‘Voodoo’ is a series of Jean-Dominique Burton’s photographical encounter with an ancient, knowledgeable and powerful form of spirituality. Throughout his journey in Dahomey (present-day Benin) the Belgian photographer Burton was steadily confronted with one mysterious word: “Vodoun”, Voodoo. His interest in Voodoo led Burton to seek out for the great Vodouns (deities) and Vodounons (initiates of the Vodoun religion). His series of encounters and exchanges brings today’s public face-to-face with a fascinating world of respect and legends, frequently being symbolized by unbelievable abstract shrines that are a subtle mix of sculpture, painting and installation.
Born in Belgium in 1952
Lives and works in Belgium.