woensdag 30 juni 2010

Top 10 Dutch Photographers 2010 the Elsevier's Magazine List Photography

Elsevier’s Top 10 Dutch Photographers

JUNE 30, 2010 by Suzanne van der Lingen
In their May issue, Elsevier published their annual top 100 Dutch artists list. The top 5 were as follows:
  1. Guido van der Werve (Video/Film)
  2. Marlene Dumas (Painting)
  3. Michael Raedecker (Painting)
  4. Fiona Tan (Video/Film)
  5. Atelier van Lieshout (Mixed Media)
I’ve written about Fiona Tan and Guido van der Werve previously, and absolutely adore their work. However, what I’m going to focus on in this post is the top 10 Dutch Photographers, as pronounced by Elsevier. Number 1 is the ever familiar Erwin Olaf, who ranked 7th in the overall list. So here’s the complete rundown of the top 10:

  1. Erwin Olaf
One of the most internationally successful and notorious Dutch photographers is of course Erwin Olaf. Known for his immaculate photographs, usually digitally manipulated to within an inch of the absolutely insanely surreal. I saw his work for the first time on show at the Photography Museum in The Hague, where his series Rain, Grief, Hope and Fall were on show. Within a year of that, there was a major retrospective in Antwerp of all his commercial photography, including graphic images from his early days like this one and this one. He’s always courting controversy or the absurd, like in his portraits of clowns or his video of a young family completely clad in s&m attire, although the aforementioned series on show in The Hague, particularly Rain, Grief and Hope, have a much softer and accessible touch to them. I love the sentimentality of them, and their subtle emotive evocation. On his website you’ll find clips of his video work and much more of his photography.
Admittedly, I wasn’t previously familiar with Ruud van Empel’s work. Thankfully this has now changed. Originally trained as a graphic designer, van Empel creates elaborate digital collages of young children and exotic landscapes by photographing each element individually and digitally piecing together the overall image. As described on the Saatchi website, ‘The juxtaposition of these hyper-realistic elements, lushly filled backgrounds with the haunting gaze of children, creates a mysterious relationship between two conspicuously diverse visual worlds.’
Now, whoever doesn’t know Dijkstra’s work must have been living under a proverbial rock. Her subject matter tends towards people who’s identity are in flux; teenagers portrayed in swimsuits, soldiers in uniform, new mothers holding their babies days after birth. Her portraits are extremely delicate, and leave her models exposed yet dignified (in my opinion). There’s an awkward fragility that resounds throughout her photographs, perpetuated by the serene simplicity of the backdrops and the revealing expressions and poses of the portrayed. Here’s an interview with Dijkstra.
Like Dijkstra, Hellen van Meene focuses her photography on people who are not used to modeling for the camera and therefore have less pretenses towards their photographic image. Unlike Dijkstra however, van Meene works with natural light.  There seem to be two main trends in Dutch photography: photographic manipulation and identity transformation, mostly personified by youth. Van Meene’s work is an excellent example of the latter.
Here’s an interview.
Martin Roemers is a documentary photographer, who has spent a decade traveling around formerly hostile countries to document the remnants of conflict. He photographs derelict tunnels, trails of scrap metal, burnt out cars, all of which are symbols for a war which, although over, still scars the landscapes of either side of the involved countries. He’s also photographed the car manufacturer Trabant’s final production days and soldier’s in Kabul, with his oeuvre focusing on industrial relics and the scars of war.
Ad van Denderen is another documentary photographer who dedicates himself to long-term projects. He has worked on series focusing on Apartheid, the Gaza conflict and Afghanistan, as well as documenting socio-economic changes throughout Europe (one project, So Blue So Blue,documents every country that borders the Mediterranean sea and is ‘his personal attempt to make sense of the vast economic, political, socio-religious and ecological changes taking place around the open space that Europe, Asia and Africa have contested and shared for centuries.’source).
Charlotte Dumas takes portraits of animals which have close ties to people, such as police dogs or zoo animals. She frames them traditionally, walking the thin line between stereotypical ‘animal/pet’ photography and fine art. The resulting images are moving and evocative, and have garnered Dumas much attention and praise over recent years. Here’s an interview with her about her dog portraits.
Anton Corbijn is the rock and roll bad boy of the list. Besides being a photographer, he’s also a director (mostly music videos, although the Ian Curtis biopic Control is his first feature length foray). He’s creative director for U2 and Depeche Mode, and has worked with a startling amount of international musicians (I included his portrait of Tom Waits as I am currently obsessed with his music).
9. Lidwien van de Ven

Van de Ven ‘explores questions of representation, of the mechanics of image perception, of what is
visible or invisible.’ Although she approaches subject matter that is frequently depicted through photojournalism, she documents from an analytical remove, questioning underlying ideologies and structures in contemporary media.
Koos Breukel is one of the more traditional portrait photographers, and there are ties to traditional Dutch painting in his style. He operates from his studio in Amsterdam, and shoots portraits on a large format camera mainly using artificial light. As described on his website, ‘he photographs people because he wants to find out if they have suffered some form of injury as a result of setbacks in their lives, and if they have managed to come to terms with this.’
So there you have it, the run down of the top 10 according to Elsevier. I would personally love to see Hendrik Kerstens climb up the list, but of course Dutch photography is awash with an overwhelming amount of talent (I’ll be going to Amsterdam soon to see the Inez & Vinoodh exhibition, can’t wait). Also, I’d like to point out that Pieter Wisse of Four Eyes Photography & Art Gallery in Rotterdam has embarked on a mission to compile a list of 500 contemporary, living photographers who are leaving an influential mark on photography. Amongst them are of course some of the Dutch heavyweights, but his list (which will be updated 5 times a week for 100 weeks) spans the globe. Check it out at 500photographers.com.

2 opmerkingen:

Photographe à Dublin zei

This is a very beautiful and informative post.

Thank you for sharing.

Ireland is enjoying a great flowering of photography at the moment.

You may enjoy the
Boards.ie Group
on Flickr.

Simon Piyuwes zei

Thanks. Very impressive skills and techniques.