Look closely: these aren’t a sightseer’s snapshots. There are no tourists, no big advertisements, no ticket booths, no scaffolding. Every detail is in focus. For the past decade, photographer Markus Brunetti and his partner, Betty Schoener, have traveled through Western Europe, living out of a truck for weeks or months at a time, obsessively photographing the façades of churches, 50 in all.
This fixation is manifest in the final images, each a digital composite of thousands of pictures, overlaid to create what Brunetti calls a “pure-pure” rendering of each façade. “I wanted a timeless feeling,” Brunetti says of his process. “I’m free like a pigeon flying around seeing all Markus Brunetti has spent the past decade traveling Europe to turn landmark churches into transporting works of art. the different perspectives.” Born into a family of builders and architects, Brunetti grew up visiting great buildings with his father. He turned his lens to churches, he says, as a way to marvel at “the tradition of our culture and the craftsmanship that’s developed over many thousands of years. It’s the same as reading a good book.”
Complete documentation can itself take years, as some churches are forever being maintained. The duo now plans to move east, knowing that their work has brought renewed attention to places such as Santa Marinha in Cortegaça, Portugal. “We went back this winter and visited the priest. He thanked us for bringing so many more visitors there.” On view at the Museum of Fine Arts in Le Locle, Switzerland, until October 16.