Sunday, August 23

Hendrik Kersten

I came across the photographer Hendrik Kersten on the blog The Errant Aesthete. I was immediately drawn to his work. The pictures in this series are of the photographer's daughter and take their inspiration from the paintings of the old Dutch masters. The artist portrays Paula, his daughter, with a classical hand but the juxstaposition of the modern items make the series both innovative and thought provoking. The placement of a napkin on her head in the above photo to look like a seventeenth century maid's cap, and again with the use of a plastic shopping bag in the image below are both compelling and surprising, it takes one a few moments on first seeing the image to realise that it is a plastic bag on her head, and it is viewed without an ounce of ridicule. She has such an air of nobility about her, that skin like a jug of fresh poured cream and the heavy hooded eyelid. Kersten says he "paints with his camera" and the brushstrokes are of course his use of light.
If you squint it could be a painting from the seventeenth century but the glint on her leather jacket and the detail of her breast pocket carry her back to today.


  1. Hi Helen,

    Wonderful to make your acquaintance and I'm happy you stumbled onto Kersten's work. I remember the first time I saw it and was transfixed by the idea he could recreate the dutch masters by simply having his daughter don a napkin or plastic bag turning out a portrait of such composure and bearing without as you so aptly stated "an ounce of ridicule."

    Beautifully rendered post.

  2. So nice to hear from you Errant Aesthete.



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