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May 22, 2008 1:24 PM   Subscribe

In the 17th century Dutch painters began to create informal paintings that focused on the features and/or expressions of anonymous people. These were called tronies. Although a tronie showed a person’s face, it wasn’t considered a portrait. [...] In 1995 Dutch photographer Hendrik Kerstens began a series of tronies featuring his daughter Paula. some images NSFW
posted by xod (35 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
I fully realize I'm being a bit prudish to be put off by knowing that he uses his daughter as a model, but I am.
posted by Dave Faris at 1:32 PM on May 22, 2008


Creepy, but nonetheless pretty cool.
posted by nasreddin at 1:40 PM on May 22, 2008


She is a beautiful model. He's a lucky photographer-dad to have such a daughter.
posted by frecklefaerie at 1:42 PM on May 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


I am put off by the "next" and "back" buttons being reversed. Damn crazy bass-ackwards Dutch people!
posted by yhbc at 1:44 PM on May 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


I love Vermeer. And I really couldn't give two shits about most classical art.

Yeah, the daughter thing is kinda creepy. I know the proper thing to do, when faced with an artistic nude, is to pretend that there's no sexual element to it whatseover, but there is, dammit. It's not porn, but neither is it accidental that most nudes are of young, attractive women.

So, yeah: kinda creepy.
posted by greenie2600 at 1:46 PM on May 22, 2008


I fully realize I'm being a bit prudish to be put off by knowing that he uses his daughter as a model, but I am.

Some feel the same way about Sally Mann, particularly the photographs of her children in her Immediate Family and At Twelve: Portraits of Young Women collections. Same goes for Jock Sturges and his photographs of nude teens.
posted by ericb at 1:55 PM on May 22, 2008


Oh ... that nude teens link is obviously NSFW.
posted by ericb at 1:55 PM on May 22, 2008


Please only comment on how creepy using his daughter is if you have an in-depth understanding of Dutch culture and sexuality. I don't, so it's not my place to say. I do, however, think these photographs are very well done, and in no way sexual.
posted by self at 1:55 PM on May 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


Please only comment on how creepy using his daughter is if you have an in-depth understanding of Dutch culture and sexuality.

Setting conditions for which one can comment on MeFi does not go well here. People should feel free to comment, as they wish, without prohibitions.
posted by ericb at 2:01 PM on May 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


Please only tell me how and what to comment when you become the frickin' dictator and grand imperial poobah of the internet.
posted by Dave Faris at 2:02 PM on May 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


Please only comment on how creepy using his daughter is if you have an in-depth understanding of Dutch culture and sexuality. I don't, so it's not my place to say.

I agree. It is absolutely not my place to say that in this photo, entitled "Pimp Up Louis," she looks pregnant. With his kid.

But like I said, I don't know the culture, so that's precisely the sort of statement I'm in no position to make.
posted by Pastabagel at 2:02 PM on May 22, 2008


I'm sure that the Christian Democrats (CDA) in the Netherlands don't share the same understanding of culture and sexuality as do their opposing parties.
posted by ericb at 2:05 PM on May 22, 2008


His daughter's hair - only really seen in that Pimp Up Louis show - is awesome. I've always wanted hair like that. Of course, my job would require me to cut it off, but if I had hair like that, I'd never have had to work a 9-5 job anyways. I would be a millionaire hair model.
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:18 PM on May 22, 2008


Please only comment on how creepy using his daughter is if you have an in-depth understanding of Dutch culture and sexuality.

I'm not Dutch, but I have a lot of Dutch friends, and they want me to tell you that everyone in the Netherlands had a meeting. They asked you not to speak for them.
posted by shmegegge at 2:24 PM on May 22, 2008


Alright, alright. I got too defensive of the work- I didn't mean to come across so snarky.
posted by self at 2:31 PM on May 22, 2008


You think she looks pregnant in Pimp Up Louis? Have you never seen a normal sized woman naked? It's normal to have a little tummy.
posted by smartyboots at 2:51 PM on May 22, 2008


Have you never seen a normal sized woman naked? It's normal to have a little tummy.

I remember Pastabagel once sent me a memail saying "you know? I've never seen a normal woman naked. I've only ever dated super models, and I've never seen photographs of regular women, ever."

I was surprised to say the least.
posted by shmegegge at 3:05 PM on May 22, 2008


The first one linked to is reminiscent of the kind of hats the classical painters used to put on women. It reminded me of a particular painting, in fact.

Then I did a double-take and realized she was wearing a couple of plastic grocery bags on her head.
posted by Class Goat at 3:10 PM on May 22, 2008


Beautiful photographs. The "creepy" comments above? So sad to see this kind of reaction so immediate and rife. Seems mostly a U.S. (& U.K.?) thing, no?
posted by progosk at 3:20 PM on May 22, 2008


Interesting project, if very dry and academic. (The one with the pubescent daughter in heavy make-up was a bit squicky, too.)

His daughter's hair - only really seen in that Pimp Up Louis show - is awesome.

So all the other photos where she has straight ginger hair are wigs? I'm thinking the other way around. Maybe I'm missing an old hair model joke?
posted by jack_mo at 3:31 PM on May 22, 2008


The "creepy" comments above? So sad to see this kind of reaction so immediate and rife. Seems mostly a U.S. (& U.K.?) thing, no?

I'm normally immune to paedogeddon nonsense, but this one is a little discomforting, and intended to be, I'd guess.
posted by jack_mo at 3:34 PM on May 22, 2008


I am stunned by this richness-- thank you for bring it to my attention, x!
posted by Dizzy at 3:35 PM on May 22, 2008


Hey, some of us are at work. NSFW warning, please.
posted by zardoz at 4:18 PM on May 22, 2008


These are quite good. And thanks to those of you who are Thinking Of The Children, so I don't have to.
posted by everichon at 4:35 PM on May 22, 2008


Zardoz, did you miss the NSFW in the original post at the top of the page, or did you just click on the link in jack_mo's comment and have absolutely no idea what to expect?
posted by emelenjr at 4:47 PM on May 22, 2008


Awesome work, particularly the lighting and post coloration. Inspiring.
posted by seanmpuckett at 5:03 PM on May 22, 2008


So all the other photos where she has straight ginger hair are wigs?

I was (perhaps falsely) assuming that she'd just let her hair out finally in that particular photo, but maybe it is a wig, in which case there is no Santa Claus and Shane really is dead.
posted by Joey Michaels at 5:09 PM on May 22, 2008


thanks xod!

She has an interesting face that seems slightly inscrutable and androgynous with the heavy lidded eyes that were so specific to Dutch 17th century portraits. I'd assume that the reason the artist chose his daughter for this project was because her unusual visage inspired the concept in the first place.
posted by stagewhisper at 5:34 PM on May 22, 2008


I agree they are beautiful shots, but I wonder if the children (both Kerstens and Mann's) can give informed consent to being photographed nude. It's quite topical for Australia because some photographer called Bill Henson has just had his showing closed down and been snarked at by the PM no less, for having nude photos of children on display.

When is underage nudity porn and when isn't it? Is it all authorial intent, or does it depend on how the viewer will interpret it? Should we never photograph our children nude, or is there an ideal age to do it? Kerstens' daughter appears to be over 18 in some of the shots, and I'm assuming/hoping she's a good actress because some of the expressions on her face are devastating.
posted by b33j at 6:12 PM on May 22, 2008


These, too, are technically sound, provocative, and have stirred outrage hither and yon.
posted by everichon at 6:18 PM on May 22, 2008


> I'm normally immune to paedogeddon nonsense, but this one is a little discomforting, and intended to be, I'd guess.

Hey, cool pic of JonBenet. I knew she wasn't a real blond.

I'm trying to remember any Vermeer paintings of little girls nude in lipstick. I'm drawing a blank (so to speak.)

Anyone recall when Prince and his wife had their baby? He wouldn't even reveal whether they had had a boy or a girl. "What if it doesn't want to be a public person?" he asked?
posted by jfuller at 6:32 PM on May 22, 2008


the heavy lidded eyes that were so specific to Dutch 17th century portraits.

Her eyes are what makes the whole project work, I think.

I was (perhaps falsely) assuming that she'd just let her hair out finally in that particular photo, but maybe it is a wig, in which case there is no Santa Claus and Shane really is dead.

Maybe? It's called Pimp Up Louis. As in the bloke famous for his massive wig. And winning a war against the Dutch. In the 17th Century.
posted by jack_mo at 6:47 PM on May 22, 2008


Oops, sorry, op, I didn't notice the nsfw tag. My bad.
posted by zardoz at 8:50 PM on May 22, 2008


extraordiary rich and challenging photographs.
the naked model issue is now present also here in Australia with the prosecution (pending) of one of our leading photographers for his photos of a a 13 year old (posted here as "Art and child exploitation" on may 23.
posted by dodialog at 5:26 AM on May 23, 2008


Thanks as much for the link to the Utata site as for the link to his work ... nice to see some other familiar names there and to discover some new work by other photographers. Kerstens' work is refreshingly skilled technically; as for the discussion about exploitation of children, etc., i won't comment, as others seem to be having tons of fun with it now.

Toodles!
posted by aldus_manutius at 6:29 AM on May 23, 2008


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