Juul Kraijer: Penumbrae
Looking at recently released books this week….
Visual Artist, Juul Kraijer has a new monograph, Penumbrae, published by Kehrer Verlag that is simply stunning. Her work draws upon Surrealist photography, using models as vehicles for ideas rather than portraits: ‘Without being literal, I’m employing the Surrealist grammar of alienation; mirroring, fusing of disparate entities, animating an object, objectifying a human body part, or casting a dazzling web of shadows on it.’ She currently has an exhibition at Kunsthalle Gießen in Germany that runs through the end of January 2015.
Juul Kraijer was born in the Netherlands in 1970. Alongside photography, on which she focused for the past two years, Kraijer favors drawing as one of her principle mediums. Her work has been exhibited worldwide and features in the collections of major museums, including MoMA/New York, KIASMA/Helsinki, Museum Kunst Palast/Düsseldorf, Kupferstichka-binett Berlin and Museum Moderner Kunst/ Vienna. It has been awarded four Dutch artprizes.
In Penumbrae, her use of snakes and creatures unappealing would normally arouse anxiety, but the model preserves a stillness and grace reminiscent of Renaissance portraiture, further evoking a sense of an otherworldly, dream-like space through real encounters that border on the surreal.These portraits”serve to displace the model and subvert the traditional hierarchies between human and animal, model and accessory.” The artist hired animal trainers, because their animals are specially trained to stay relaxed during photo shoots and the model was extremely courageous.
Alongside Surrealist photography, Juul is inspired by some photos of Julia Magaret Cameron, fin-de-siècle medical photography and photographic documentation of séances.
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