Rotterdam Photo: Diederik Spaargaren
The theme of this year’s Rotterdam Photo, an annual photography festival, was “Freedom Redefined,” and I was lucky enough to exhibit 34 prints from my work on women with life sentences, both inside prison and after they’ve regained their freedom. This week Lenscratch is dedicated to featuring five photographers whose work caught my eye.
Today is the work of Diederik Spaargaren, whose “Portrait of an Invisible Man” is a dreamy, painterly and impressionistic journey to understand his father.
Portrait of an Invisible Man
(Title: Paul Auster)
A photograph of an empty street, taken from the window of a living room, was the only clue to find out where my dying father used to live.
In the hope to discover more about my father’s whereabouts, I wandered around the streets of Toulouse at night, a city strangely unknown to me.
We had not seen each other for more than 25 years.
My father was trapped in his own mind and slowly disappeared into his own world.
It proved impossible to escape from there . Eventually he had become invisible to his children, friends, family and probably also to himself .
Diederik Spaargaren was born in The Hague in 1966 and is currently living in Amsterdam. After completing the Dutch Film Academy in film directing/fiction, he started his career as a director for predominantly commercial and documentary projects. In recent years, photography has become another major focus in his life, and he went to the Dutch Photo Academy and joint Milan Gies’ Studio 307 in Amsterdam.
Diederik’s photographs are a mixture of documentary and fiction, and he has developed a unique photographic technique in order to convert his ambivalent feelings into a landscape of his emotions. His images are personal, authentic and dream-like and they are characterized by abstraction, a lack of intense light, and careful and balanced compositions. His photographs explore concepts such as loneliness, alienation, disconnection, angst, consumerism and media overstimulation.
Diederik is inspired by the cinema of Roy Andersson and Sylvian Comet, as well as painters such as Leon Spilliaert, Edvard Munch and Edward Hopper.
Currently, Diederik is working on a photography project entitled “Why don’t you come to your senses” which is a visual exploration of the human struggle in a world that seems to become increasingly complicated, fast-paced and cramped.
Follow Diederik Spaargaren on Instagram: @diederik_spaargaren
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