Hendrik Kerstens Photographs His Daughter in the Style of Dutch Masters with a Twist | Yellowtrace
“Bag” © Hendrik Kerstens.

Hendrik Kerstens Photographs His Daughter in the Style of Dutch Masters with a Twist | Yellowtrace
“Paper Roll” © Hendrik Kerstens.

Hendrik Kerstens Photographs His Daughter in the Style of Dutch Masters with a Twist | Yellowtrace
“Toy Rider” © Hendrik Kerstens.

 

Since 1995, Dutch photographer  has been photographing his daughter, Paula. His photographs have been collected by museums around the world and have inspired taste-makers as diverse as Elton John and Alexander McQueen. Not only does he capture her in relation to events in her own life, he also projects on her his fascination with the Dutch painters of the 17th century.

“One day Paula 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. After that I started to do more portraits in which I refer to the paintings of that era. The thing that fascinates me in particular is the way a seventeenth-century painting is seen as a surface which can be read as a description of everyday life as opposed to the paintings of the Italian renaissance, which usually tell a story. Northern European painting relies much more on craftsmanship and the perfect rendition of the subject. The use of light is instrumental in this,” explains Kerstens.

 

Hendrik Kerstens Photographs His Daughter in the Style of Dutch Masters with a Twist | Yellowtrace
“Book” © Hendrik Kerstens.

Hendrik Kerstens Photographs His Daughter in the Style of Dutch Masters with a Twist | Yellowtrace
“Napkin” © Hendrik Kerstens.

 

A number of the portraits of Paula are clearly reminiscent of Johannes Vermeer. The austerity of the photograph, its clarity, the serene expression on the young girl’s face, and not least, the characteristic “Dutch” light, all combine to create this impression.
 As the series progressed, he became increasingly interested in the game of creating a conceptual and humorous dialog between past and present. The titles give the game away. “Napkin” looks like a maid’s bonnet. In “Bag”, a plastic grocery bag is shaped to look like a lace hood. In other pictures no pretense is made to imitate 17th century clothing, but Paula’s face and Kerstens’ light turn a thoroughly modern hoodie into a classic and timeless garment.

Conceptually, Kerstens’ photographs play with the dialog between the mediums of painting and photography, with seriality, and time. They address everyday reality while expressing his love for his child, and the knowledge and development of his craft.

 

Related Post: Bill Gekas’ Portraits of His Daughter in the Style of Dutch Master Paintings.

 

Hendrik Kerstens Photographs His Daughter in the Style of Dutch Masters with a Twist | Yellowtrace
“Cosy” © Hendrik Kerstens.

Hendrik Kerstens Photographs His Daughter in the Style of Dutch Masters with a Twist | Yellowtrace
“Dolly” © Hendrik Kerstens.

Hendrik Kerstens Photographs His Daughter in the Style of Dutch Masters with a Twist | Yellowtrace
“Lampshade” © Hendrik Kerstens.

Hendrik Kerstens Photographs His Daughter in the Style of Dutch Masters with a Twist | Yellowtrace
“Bubble Wrap” © Hendrik Kerstens.

 


[Images © .]

 



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