From 10 September to 27 November 2011, the Groninger Museum
will present the exhibition entitled Ruud van Empel. Photoworks 1995-2010. Ruud van Empel (1958) is one of the most extraordinary photographic artists of this moment, both nationally and internationally. From hundred of fragments adopted from digital photos, he compiles new images that seem very life-like and realistic, but also conjure up a world that has never existed. The exhibition is the first large-scale museum overview of the work of Van Empel.
Van Empel has developed a unique working method within digital photography. The images he compiles display a paradisaical world that has never existed in the form shown. This world is primarily populated by children and dreamy adolescents as a personification of innocence, which is one of the most important themes of Van Empels work. But innocence is always vulnerable, and the longing for paradise is an all-too-human illusion that will be disturbed sooner or later.
Feast for the eye
Despite all their marvellous beauty, these works are far from unambiguous. Something is not quite right. What is real and what isnt? And is it all quite as endearing as it appears at first sight? This aspect gives the work of Ruud van Empel a fascinating depth, in addition to the enormous spread of colour and wealth of detail that make his work a feast for the eye.
Rudolph Franciscus Maria van Empel graduated Cum Laude from the Academie St. Joost, Breda (19761981) as a graphic designer. Having worked briefly as a designer, he devoted his attention to making free video tapes and staged photography. From the mid-eighties onwards he was as a creative designer of theatre decor and was the artistic director of various television and film productions. He also produced posters for films, cultural programmes and organizations.
In the mid-nineties, he decided to develop himself further as a visual artist. His first photo series are entitled The Office (19952001), Study for Women (19992002) and Study in Green (2003). He presented his first solo exhibition in the Groninger Museum in 1999 under the title Waterpas of Optisch recht? (Level or Optically straight?)
His international breakthrough came with his series of works entitled World, Moon, Venus (20052008). These were first exhibited in the Picturing Eden exhibition, compiled by Deborah Klochko, in the George Eastman House. Many exhibitions followed and the Sir Elton John photo collection is just one of the many collections which now contain examples of Van Empels work.
Van Empels working method is a complex one. He photographs 4 or 5 professional models in his studio and takes many detailed photographs of leaves, flowers, plants and animals. The models pictures are mixed with these images using the Photoshop program and with clothes photographed separately on a tailors dummy. In this way he creates new images of mainly children, in black and white, set in a paradisaical environment.
with information from wikipedia.org