The famous Amsterdam gallery Ravestijn presents five projects with famous fashion photographers Inez & Vinoodh van Lamsweerde Matadin, as well as four projects oscillating between plastic arts and photography.
Inez van LAMSWEERDE 1963 & Vinoodh MATADIN 1961 Netherlands
The photography duo Inez & Vinoodh, are known for their fearless and adventurous photography that oscillates fluidly between art and haute couture. The Dutch artists, based in New York, are partners and collaborators whose practice oscillates between genres and media, pop culture, fashion and art.
The duo have been exploring and pushing the boundaries of fine art and fashion photography for over three decades. In the early 1990s they were at the forefront of using new developments in digital technology for photography, coupled with a bold aesthetic sensibility, the result was a signature style that would become a household name. worldwide: Inez & Vinoodh.
In their work, the artists do not seem to make an a priori distinction between fashion or art, but all of their work fits into their overall creative vision: images (or videos) seductive by their aesthetic perfection , which seduce the viewer, only to draw him into a world where a familiar narrative could be turned upside down, become provocative. In an interview, Inez & Vinoodh underline the powers at play in their images: “for us, there is always this sense of duality, there is always a tension between the beautiful and the grotesque, the spiritual and the banal, the high fashion and low fashion, the masculine and the female.”
Although always very polished, their images criticize social norms regarding gender and sexuality, undermining these conventions as well as the prejudices they engender. Often their images are printed larger than life, reinforcing their otherworldly character. The artists’ intervention of the collage technique transforms the famous star into an almost unrecognizable ethereal muse.
This mixture of techniques and their mastery of digital manipulation have had such an echo in photography, becoming ubiquitous to the point that one would almost forget how bold and avant-garde explorations of the duo of the frontiers of photography have been since. their early work.
Artists’ seemingly effortless movement between editorials, videos, exhibitions, breadboards and assemblage, is a rare thing indeed, and forms the foundation of the strength of the well-established Inez & Vinoodh brand. Additionally, they have created groundbreaking editorials for publications such as Vogue, V Magazine, Visionaire, The New York Times Magazine to name a few.
Michel LAMOLLER 1984 Germany
Michel Lamoller 1984 typically works with photography in a sculptural and experimental way. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Hamburg and is now a freelance artist. Some of the photographic sculptures serve as models for a photo that becomes the final work. He uses photography as a material to create multi-layered sculptures that are on the border between being an object and being an image. By alienating the original use of photography, Lamoller revisits representation mainly because he thus succeeds in revealing his ability to push the boundaries of the image, and he does so by being playful, conceptual, and at the same time provoking a sense of surprise and perplexity – back to the fundamentals of aesthetic experiences.
With his works, Lamoller creates interventions, often localized, in the exhibition space that go hand in hand with the imaginary act expected of the viewer. The boundaries of the image are stretched in different directions alluding to the aesthetic effect the viewer can experience from other media, for example, when encountering a sculpture, or even when engaged in an image moving. Lamoller experiments with new media to find new possibilities and opportunities, yet he clearly refers to the tradition of photography to document reality – just that his unique artistic process does not end with an image of reality but with objects that reintegrate the with the haptic world of things.
Nico KRIJNO 1981 South Africa
With a background in theater and experimental video, Nico Krijno (b. 1981, South Africa) works at the blurry intersection of photography, collage, painting, sculpture and performance. Probing everyone’s thresholds, his work materializes through a flow of unique and colorful abstractions that not only act as standalone works of art, but when viewed as a collection, the obsession and constant intrigue of Krijno in the perception of the photographs become decidedly obvious.
Often working with discarded materials found in his immediate environment, he interprets and reinvents them to find alternative structures for how meaning and matter are both constructed and perceived. Photographing these ephemeral structures, as he describes himself, is a private and physical performance, with the camera being the audience. Above all, photographing these theatrical scenes is only part of Krijno’s work. Using an array of digital tools, he then reinvents materials, colors and shapes countless times until our understanding of each photograph is constantly challenged, always failing to stand still.
Maurice SCHELTENS 1972 & Liesbeth ABBENES 1970 Netherlands
Maurice Scheltens (1972) and Liesbeth Abbenes (1970) are the sum of a still life photographer and the creative know-how of an artist. Technical perfection added to individual craftsmanship, strong pictorial clarity in addition to bespoke settings. They experiment with converting spatial dimensions into flat surfaces and explore the potential of photography to create illusion. The core of their work is their lab like studio where they construct their sets with a conceptualizing and solution-focused thinking attitude, whether they are editing or tackling commissioned or freelance art work.
Instead of presenting the objects as simple salable products, they manipulate them and often use them as basic elements for new compositions. The autonomous artistic quality of photography must always prevail. Scheltens & Abbenes deliberately choose to operate in both applied art and autonomous art and to use them as breeding grounds for each other. This approach has resulted in showing their projects in cultural institutions such as Galliera Musée de la Mode Paris, Foam Amsterdam, Huis Marseille Amsterdam, The Kunsthal in Rotterdam and The Art Institute of Chicago.
THEIS WENDT 1981 Denmark
A graduate of the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, visual artist Theis Wendt (b. 1981, DK) lives and works in Copenhagen. Using a wide range of materials – both organic and synthetic – Wendt’s creative process combines sculpture, installation and post-photography into illusory works that demand careful consideration from viewers. Here materials seem to imitate others, and faint impressions of nature are evoked through digital means. As with any image, at first glance things are rarely as they appear.
At the heart of Wendt’s practice are age-old questions of authenticity; his works affirm that our relationship to the world – and our understanding of reality – has been dramatically altered by a seismic shift in the tools with which we access it. The motif of the frame, or window, then becomes a recurring reminder of the suffocating structures through which we continue to think and see. But beyond the dystopian challenges we face, from ecological degradation to the relentless grip of capitalism, Wendt’s works retain a romantic quality, pointing to something else on the horizon – something better, maybe, if we can find the tools to imagine it.
Westerdok 824 – 1013 BV – Amsterdam – The Netherlands Telephone +31 20 530 6005 – e-mail [email protected] – www.theravestijngallery.com