Portraits

Photographs by Helen Van Meene
Essay by Kate Bush

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8 1/16 x 8 3/4 inches 96 pages, 55 four-color images Hardcover 978-1-931788-45-8 Fall 2004
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For the past seven years, Hellen van Meene has been producing intimate portraits of adolescents. Though the introspective gaze of her models suggest that these are spontaneous, private moments in the lives of her subjects, the carefully considered natural light, lush textures, and striking compositions betray van Meene's hand in choreographing each image down to the finest detail. Throughout, the picturesque qualities are undercut by a disquieting tension: the models' clothes are ill-fitting or inside-out; one girl is asked to lie in a cold bath, fully clothed; another models a fresh bruise. This intimate collaboration between the photographer and her models simultaneously exposes the uncertain nature of adolescent identities and the complicated act of capturing them on film.

This project was realized with the generous support of the Mondriaan Foundation, Amsterdam.

Hellen van Meene was educated at the Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam. She began exhibiting her work in 1994 and has had one-person exhibitions in Los Angeles, Amsterdam, London, Milan, Tokyo, and at the Venice Biennale. In 2001 she was shortlisted for the Citibank Photography Prize.

Visit Hellen van Meene's website here