Comments/Context: Dutch photographer Ellen Kooi can neatly be categorized as one of the increasing number of contemporary photographers employing cinematic staging as a signature technique. Her images of children set amid flat Dutch landscapes sit roughly in the middle along the spectrum of realistic recreation and obvious fabrication, using theatrical lighting and unexpected perspectives to create open ended scenes and narrative fragments that reference childhood fairy tales with a sense of heightened realism.
In each of these images, the land itself plays much more than just a supporting role; it often dominates the figures, creating a sense of expansive natural scale and power compared to the children. Kooi has taken the realistic genre painting of the past and infused it with some modern mystery and uncertainty, taking idyllic landscape formulas and overlaying them with moods a bit more menacing.
Rating: * (one star) GOOD (rating system described here)
- Artist site (here)
Through June 18th
535 West 22nd Street
New York, NY 10011