Finding Thoughts.
Photographs by Cuny Janssen. Edited by Clare Garfik and Sybren Kuiper.
Artimo / Photographer's Gallery, Amsterdam, 2006. 80 pp., 40 color illustrations, 6¾x9".

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Dutch photographer Cuny Janssen’s landscapes and portraits of children track her travels from Iran to India, Macedonia, France, and back to the Netherlands. Her social concern is evident in the choice of locations and subjects, and even in her timing: she went to Macedonia after ethnic violence had left many families displaced. Although the sitters are not identified by name in her final works, Janssen spends a substantial amount of time with each child and his or her family. What emerges is a highly contemplative body of work, and an ultimately optimistic view of matters of survival and beauty. Janssen cites among her influences Thomas Struth, Robert Adams, eighteenth-century Swiss portrait painter Ferdinand Hodler and Marcel Proust. Accordingly, a commonplace book of quotes from sages including Man Ray, Carl Sandberg and Pipilotti Rist is printed on the tissue paper that is interleaved with the images. Among the quotations appears a motto of sorts for this portfolio: “Let’s be proud and friendly.”


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