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