Wouter Deruytter was born in 1967 in Roeselare, Belgium. He studied at the Royal Academy for Fine Arts in Ghent. As a young photographer he did photographic sessions with Maurice Béjart and Keith Haring with whom he did co-productions. Shortly thereafter Deruytter moved to New York to study at the International Center for Photography. There he was taught by people like Nan Goldin, Duane Michals and Bruce Weber.

Since then Wouter Deruytter has exhibited continuously in prestigeous galleries and museums all over the world. He has been included in collections of private collectors like, amongst many others, Leo Castelli, New York, Harry Lunn, Paris and Sir Elton John, London.

Willy Van den Bussche (head curator of PMMK in Ostend) summarizes: ‘That Wouter Deruytter has become international is the result not only of the quality of his work but also of his great passion, which is not only to be found in his work but also in the enthusiasm with which he does everything.’

Wouter Deruytter has been living in New York for over 10 years now and is building further on a brilliant career.


The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA
National Portrait Gallery, Washington DC, USA
21C Museum, Louisville, Kentucky, USA
Frost Art Museum, F.I.U., Miami, USA
Chelsea Art Museum, New York, USA
Buhl Collection, New York, USA
Sprint Corporation, USA
Museum of Modern Art (PMMK), Ostend, Belgium
Flemish Community, Brussels, Belgium
City Council Roeselare, Belgium
Collection M.V. / Van Hool, Belgium
L.U.M.C. (AZL) Collection, Leiden, The Netherlands
Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris, France
DZ Bank, Frankfurt, Germany

Some of the more known collectors:

Leo Castelli, New York, USA
Charles Cowles, New York, USA
Robert Fisher, San Francisco, USA
Pohlad Family, Minneapolis, USA
Sir Elton John, London, UK
Michael Gregg Wilson, UK
Harry Lunn, Paris, France
Gian Enzo Sperone, Turin, Italy
Juan Redon, Barcelona, Spain
Bruno Bischofberger, Zürich Switzerland
Walter Haas, Zürich, Switzerland
Vervoordt Family, Belgium
Dries Van Noten, Belgium
Coppel Luken, Mexico
Aidan Salakhova, Moscow, Russia
Hirsh Collection, Los Angeles, USA


Monographs (BOOKS):
Cowboy Code – Torch Publications, The Netherlands, 2007
Cowboy Code – Arena Editions, U.S.A., 2000
Knights of the Impossible – Museum of Modern Art, Ostend / Stichting Kunstboek, Belgium, 1997
Valentino Mania – Provinciaal Centrum Beeldende Kunsten, Hasselt, Belgium, 1996
Tu Tu Much, Jem Jender – Seibu International, Japan, 1991
Brussel…? – s.l. (in collaboration with Maurice Béjart), 1990

Monographs (CATALOGUES):
Wicked Creek – Light & Sie Gallery, Dallas, USA., 2008
Men’s & Women’s Collection – Dries Van Noten, 2007
Billboards, New York – Caermersklooster, Ghent Belgium, 2006
Billboards, NY – Chelsea Art Museum, New York, 2005
Crow Warriors – Briggs Robinson Gallery, New York, 2005
Coballeros Arabes – Museo del Pueblo / Festival Int. Cervantino, Mexico, 2000
Codigo Vaquero – Museo de Arte Carillo Gil, Mexico City, 2000
Circus in Egypt – Lunn Ltd., 1995
Anachronism Abroad -Lunn Ltd., 1994 and 1996
Transgenderism – s.l., 1993
Three Nights of The Sphinx – Cairo Opera House, 1991


Cowboy Code – s.l., 2010 (Edition 25)


Around 1998, sex grew larger and more demanding than ever in New York. Outsized billboards sprang up all over the place proferring chic underwear and moky glances. Wouter Deruytter, a Belgian with 12 books and catalogues to his credit, took note. Now transplanted to New York (but really a world traveler in pursuit of photographic subjects), Deruytter had previously mulled over the roles people are slotted into or the roles they play: drag queens, the artists McDermott and McGough, Arab princes in a modern world, circus performers, cowboys. The models on New York’s billboards play directed roles for an instant or two; these turn out to have long lives on paper. Deruytter claims that he began photographing them because it was his only chance to photograph such gorgeous models. But after 9/11, which made him realize how intensely he loved the city, he took to the streets with a passion for the newest New York. He almost got arrested once for photographing too near a bridge, though he was only in search of the terrors and pleasures of ads.

Source: Billboards New York Wouter Deruytter by Vicki Goldberg