The photographs of Stephane Lieben capture the beauty hidden in the fading ruins of an industrial landscape. Just like in film noir, nothing in Lieben’s work is as it seems. Shadows, mystery, and the unknown form an atmosphere at once alluring and potentially dangerous. Highly influenced by cinematography, as well as painters such as Caspar David Friedrich and Arnold Böcklin, Lieben's work represents the collective unconscious and invisible harmony that lies in the parts of cities and countries that others might dismiss as ugly or abandoned. With each photograph, he creates the visual equivalent of urban poetry, the beat of a concrete jungle transformed into something everyone can relate to and appreciate.
Having grown up in the Pays Noirs, the coal mining region of Belgium, Lieben is intimately familiar with European industrial areas. His photography started as a way for him to express the “indescribable beauty" he saw hidden in these landscapes. He is constantly trying to improve his technique and experimenting with new tools and equipment, in an effort to capture the invisible magic that surrounds us.