Carmen De Vos' dreamy sensual wonderland

"Carmen De Vos loves pushing the boundaries of her viewers almost as much as she loves pushing the limits of expired Polaroid film. Almost. The Belgian art photographer has made a career of working with instant film, and recently published a retrospective collection of the last decade of her work as a large-scale coffee table book called The Eyes of the Fox published by [ander]-zijds."

See more of Carmen's work on instagram at @carmendevoss

Her book is available at

ALTER/ANALOG: How did you get your start in photography?

CD: My mother was always photographing. I remember I looked forward to getting the printed photo's back from the lab. It always felt like a moment of adventure. As soon as I could, from my 12th birthday on or so, an old Kodak camera became my companion on travels and school trips. Later on, I shot friends and family.

When I was 40, I took a year of Sabbath from my office job and in that year I founded my own magazine, TicKL, and English art porn Polaroid magazine, in which I explored the limits of female sexual fantasies. I never really got cured of this naughtiness. I didn't know it then, and it was not my intention, but from then on, I became a professional photographer. I didn't always know what I was doing, as I had never worked in magazines before, but I knew what I wanted, and I worked until I achieved it.  The Belgian press embraced me, and soon after that, I started working for them.

ALTER/ANALOG: What made you gravitate toward instant film?

CD: I was an ardent Lomographer at first, captivated by the beauty of random picture taking and bewitched by the bold colours cross-processing evoked. The idea that a photo could be mad and wild instead of sharp and technically perfect was an idea that had an irresistible appeal to me. When Florian Kaps and Andy Hoeller started up and the Impossible Project, celebrating instant photography, I got curious about the artistic possibilities a Polaroid could add to my work. The Polaroid platform offered a little, warm nest in which we could freely experiment with the medium of Polaroids. We were a society of like-minded Polaroid freaks who did nothing but push the boundaries of the Polaroid canvas. Deformations, discolouration, self-made filters, strange subjects, weird compositions, burning the Polaroids, dissecting them, I loved it all. I was smitten with this little frame in which a magical world developed under my very eyes.

ALTER/ANALOG:  Much of your work is sensual.  What attracts you to that?