Gezien bij opening expositie Photography Extended,
Museum Het Valkhof Nijmegen, 16 juni 2013
“……. Pirouetter sur une idee……”
Net zoals je bij Vermeer steeds dezelfde vrouw als model ziet
terugkeren, zie je in de foto’s van Hendrik Kerstens steeds zijn
dochter Paula. Hedendaagse humor en speelsheid vermengd met
het klassieke ideaal van Vermeer.
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.
However, Kerstens was not just imitating painting. 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. On a more emotional level, they address everyday reality while expressing his love for his child, and the knowledge and development of his craft.