Monday, 4 November 2013

Artists that Inspire: Suzanne Jongmans

I have always been interested in portraiture. In the past, painting gave you the time to study your sitter and to capture their essence, their soul, to show a side of them revealed only within your work. Sometimes this was to the sitters discretion, to show their wealth, fidelity, bravery. Others, like the Mona Lisa or the Girl with a Pearl Earring, we may never know their names but they live on through the painters lens. In photography portraiture is a different game, you must catch the perfect moment, balancing the technical aspects; lens focus, aperture, light balance with the perfect instant moment of poise taking many pictures before you find your shot that conveys all you wanted to say of the model. It may be surprising or a carefully studied set up. Both show a long history of study, or light, perspective, proportion, and colour theory. These artistic principals have been collected through history one artist influencing another, creating a new artistic vision. Vermeer was influenced by Carvaggio and Suzanne Jongmans references the workmanship of the past and its contrast to the consumer culture we find ourselves in today. She says:

“By using this material I make a reference to consumerism and the rapid circulation of materials, which contrasts to the craftsmanship of these earlier times,” wrote Jongmans in an e-mail. “Referring to both vulnerability and transience, I am investigating the texture and feel of both the present and the past.”

I enjoy the myriad of contradictions I find in her pieces. Such as the throw away material, almost Pop Art-like in its use of everyday objects in unexpected ways to give a new meaning. Or the instant mental connection to historical portraits re visioned with a new method, photography, and new materials suspending them in time between the past and present. The painting of Velázquez and Rogier van der Weyden are images that came to mind as I looked at Jongmans pieces, they hold the same likeness and attitude.  But most of all I like the stillness and serenity of her subjects. Jongmans says,

“The serenity which radiates from these works is a real inspiration to me,” she said. “Especially in these times we live in, in which many impressions can overwhelm us."

for more of Suzanne's work:

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