school for photography the Hague, 1985, 1990
galerie Baudelaire Antwerpen Belgium
digital, photography, figurative, abstract, portrait, nudes
During my career the ‘intrinsic value of the image’ has always been a major theme. I am not interested in the subject of photographs but I try to find the value the image has in itself; the essence of the image. I think content of a work of art should not originate from the subject which is depicted but that the form is the content in itself. I’ve been working specifically on this theme since 2007 resulting a several sub-series each scrutinizing this point of view from a different perspective.
I started with a series based on the 30.000 year old Venus figurines of which The Venus of Willendorf is best known. I was convinced that by studying the oldest known human figurines I could somehow get hold of basics of imagery.
From 2009 to 2010 I tried to get to this intrinsic value by making my photographs more abstract, which resulted in the series ‘Study for Base of Crucifix’, and by studying Michelangelo’s Ignudi in the Sistine Chapel. The latter was interesting because there is no use as respect to content, to put these nudes in a chapel.
In 2011 and 2012 I worked on a series based on Charles Baudelaire’s work as an Art critic. In ‘the painter of the modern life’ and the salons of 1846 and 1859 he wrote several essays on art. Referring to these articles I started the series ‘Small Talk with Baudelaire’ which should be seen as a conversation in which we agree and disagree, push and pull and sharpen our views.
At the end of 2012 I started a series on various painting, changing the content of the image but keeping the essence of the form. For example, I changed a still life (Samuel van Hoogstraten) and a Christ in Pietá (Masolino) into nudes.