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Hendrik Kerstens

1956 Netherlands

2 Works exhibited

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  • About the Artist
Hendrik Kerstens (born March 24, 1956) is a Dutch photographer and visual artist. Fascinated by the master paintings of the Dutch Golden Age he photographs his daughter Paula. In a similar but more modern way as Rembrandt did before him, Kerstens highlights the beauty of the ordinary and the greatness of vulnerability, in all of his pictures. Initially educated as pastry chef, Hendrik Kerstens started his professional career as a wine merchant. After the birth of his daughter Paula, his wife Anna continued working full-time, whereas Kerstens took on him most of the parental duties. Simultaneously he tried to raise his skills in portrait photography by buying a camera and by analyzing articles in photo magazines. Being an autodidact Kerstens' career as a photographer got a kick-start in 2001. The jury of the PANL Award of the Netherlands granted him two golden medals for two of his portraits. Invitations to exhibit his work at FOAM Amsterdam, the FotoFestival Naarden, at Art Rotterdam and an art show at the Fotomuseum (Gemeentemuseum The Hague) followed. In 2007, photographic magazine American Photo released a special edition, called "The Portrait Issue", presenting top photographers like Annie Leibovitz, Albert Watson, Matthew Rolston, Nigel Parry and Lori Grinker. In the section "The Portrait as Masterpiece" the portraits Hendrik Kerstens made of his daughter were highlighted and described as follows: "shaking up the concept of time, Kerstens literally immortalizes his daughter, as if to stop time and oblivion." From 2007 onwards The New York Times Magazine regularly requested Kerstens to make portraits illustrating the interviews, like with film producer Michael Haneke, visual artist Marlene Dumas and actor Philip Seymour Hoffman. Prior to the 2011 Emmy Awards, Hendrik Kerstens portrayed Brian Cranston, Peter Dinklage and six other actors, who were all nominated for an award. The portrait of nominee Alec Baldwin ended up on the cover of the issue dated September 11, 2011, instead of an image commemorating the collapse of the Twin Towers, exactly 10 years prior to that date. From 2007 onwards autodidact Kerstens continues to develop himself from a documentary portrait photographer to an autonomous artist. The trendsetting Italian art and design magazine Domus presented Kerstens' Bag on its cover in May 2008. A few months later the National Portrait Gallery in London honoured Bag with the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize, a prestigious award in the world of photography. Simultaneously, posters of the work Bag were displayed all over London. In 2009 Kerstens' work was selected by Kathy Ryan, curator of the exhibition "Dutch Seen: New York Rediscovered" in the Museum of the City of New York. Bag and Sunburnt were chosen as leading images of this exhibition, commemorating the discovery of America by the Dutch 400 in 1609. Fashion designer Alexander McQueen gave Hendrik Kerstens all credits of being a source of inspiration for his cutting-edge show "Horn of Plenty". McQueen's interpretations of Bag, Paper roll and Tinny were incorporated in his designs, whereas the image Bag was printed on the invitation to the show. A series of posters designed by Kerstens in 2010 for the Bayerische Staatsoper in München were elected as Beste Plakette des Jahres (Best poster of the year). In 2010 in a special exhibition in the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague the State University Leiden-Special Collections showed their masterpieces, including all Paula-portraits made by Kerstens. In 2013 Harper's Bazaar requested Kerstens to give his view on fashion, photographing clothes and accessories of Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, Vera Wang, Philip Treacy, Comme des Garçons among others. This series of photoshoots was granted the 11th Lucie Award in New York for the "Fashion Lay-out of the Year". Interior designer Ian Schrager decided to have an artwork of Kerstens in every single room of the Edition Hotel, in Soho, London (UK). The MOPA Museum of Photographic Art in San Diego (USA) chose the work of Hendrik Kerstens for a solo-exhibition, called "Model and Muse"

Works by Hendrik Kerstens

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2015

80 x 100 cm

2017

120 x 150 cm

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