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Art Photo Collector

Posts tagged dutch:

"One tree, so many leaves, one tree…one people." —R. Dobru

If you know where Suriname is, then you might know something of its history and connections to both the Netherlands and the African continent. The noted fashion photographer, Viviane Sassen, who was born in Amsterdam, but at the age of two spent three indelible years as a child in Kenya, understands the Dutch relationship to this small, South American nation.

Pikin Slee is a large village on the Upper Suriname River. Sassen’s experience among its inhabitants, who have none of the modern world’s conveniences (running water, electricity, paved roads), deeply affected her. These photographs, lush with light and color, tell her story—one of a skilled photographer interpreting a different world.

Viviane Sassen is represented by the Stevenson Gallery in Capetown, South Africa where her latest exhibition, Pikin Slee, is on view. In April, Prestel will release an eponymous monograph. Bridging the worlds of fashion and fine art photography, Sassen makes crossing the bridge look easy. —Lane Nevares

"Obey the principles without being bound by them."—Bruce Lee 

I came across the work of Michael Mapes quite by accident via the BBC. Seeing it for the first time online, however, I was struck with intense curiosity. How were these portraits constructed, and how much work went into creating them? On the off-chance, I sent Michael an email. We later spoke on the phone and arranged to meet in person to chat and to view his work.

Referencing Dutch Master portraiture, Michael Mapes,”specimens” deconstruct and painstakingly re-construct how our eyes interpret. It takes a particular artistic vision to manifest work that takes you somewhere new. Vials of hair, resin, sequins, thread, photos, jewelry and more—all (at the end of a pin) go into making these “dimensional collages.” The result is a portraiture unlike anything I’ve seen before. 

For now, Michael Mapes may be relatively unknown, but if his work continues to follow, and not be bound by, the principles of good art—authenticity, resonance, and a yearning for beauty— his work will not remain so. This guy is onto something. —Lane Nevares 

"Beauty is a term that is always in development, it’s not a fixed thing and is very much subjective, so to me, it’s a perception." Erwin Olaf   

"It all begins with a dream," Erwin Olaf told a group of us last Saturday. His latest show, Berlin, currently on view in NYC at Hasted Kraeutler and in London at Hamiltons Gallery is true to form for Olaf: sumptuous images layered with narrative, rich with details, and perfectly executed.

Using his dreams as surrealistic launching points, Olaf described his process of finding themes, unifying them, and working with his design team to bring them to fruition. This latest series, Berlin, took him outside of his Amsterdam studio and into a city steeped in history, where he could shoot his tableaux inside noted buildings, some of which have notorious histories. (Indeed, the stairs Olaf climbs in his self-portrait are the same that Hitler mounted into the Olympic Stadium.) These particular interiors, and the tales they contain, become part of the new story. Olaf’s Berlin series takes us into an enigmatic world where no one is telling us what to believe, but rather engaging us to conjure these stories ourselves. —Lane Nevares 

"One day Paula (my daughter) came back from horseback riding. She took off her cap and I was struck by the image of her hair held together by a hair-net. It reminded me of the portraits by the Dutch masters and I portrayed her in that fashion." Hendrik Kerstens 

Hendrik Kersten’s photographs, particularly this noted series of his daughter, “Paula Pictures,” are known for referencing the work of Vermeer and other great Dutch masters of the 17th Century, while maintaining their delicate sense of light. 

Lots of artists have used their families as models, and of course all of us take pictures of our own kin, but Kersten’s daughter Paula is an engaging subject on her own merits. We see her direct gaze and participate in the performance revealed through an economy of dress and styling—all under gentle, luscious light.

This collaboration results in stunning, humorous, and idiosyncratic portraits with a wonderful dash of Dutch Art History thrown in for flavor. For those who have two minutes, here is a lovely video of the series.  And for those of you in New York, I encourage you to visit the Danziger Gallery to see these large-scale prints for yourself.  Lane Nevares