What do Sexual Healing by Marvin Gaye and Karl Marx's Manifesto of the Communist Party have in common? They were written in the same place, Ostend, a coastal city in Belgium where Victor Hugo and Arthur Rimbaud also spent some time of their life.
Photographer Stefan Vanthuyne left Ostend when he was eighteen, at a time where the place was descending into what he calls 'a downward spiral', losing its mundane life and becoming a melancholic 'last stop'. His City by the Sea is a revisitation of Ostend today, a visual exploration where his personal memories flow through the roads and the buildings like a cold salty wind.
'Baby I got sick this morning
A sea was storming inside of me
Baby I think I'm capsizing
The waves are rising and rising'
It's easy to imagine Marvin Gaye writing those lyrics while looking from his window on a rainy winter day, while the sun has been hiding behind thick clouds for weeks and weeks.
All images © Stefan Vanthuyne