© Paul Kooiker – Untitled (2021)

Hailing from Rotterdam, lensman Paul Kooiker (1964) studied both at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague and the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam before establishing himself as one of today’s quirkiest fashion photographers. Kooiker may have fully engaged in fashion photography, but his work is always infused with a quirky, artful element that puts it in a category of its own. Also, his photography transcends classic gender roles: his models adopt unusual poses and their faces are often left out of frame, obscuring their identity. At times, it’s not even clear whether the subject is human or a doll. In order to capture the extravagance of luxury objects, Kooiker magnifies their means of presentation, and to such a degree that it’s ultimately our desire itself that is captured by his camera.

Opening on Fri – Dec 9 at Foam, arguably the Dutch capital’s premier photography venue, is an exhibition that may be boldly entitled FASHION, but it obviously sees the topic interpreted in Kooiker’s very own way. On display are a series of Kooiker’s recent work, and interestingly, they’ve all been shot with an iPhone. At a time when everyone photographs with their smartphone, the Dutch lensman uses this very tool to create a parallel world that’s apparently detached from it and that cannot be copied. The large variety of images from his fashion commissions create an encompassing installation that works much like a hall of mirrors: it somehow freezes the dizzying speed of the fashion industry, and in a way reveals the absurdity of vanity and desire a large part of the fashion world and its following thrive on.

Keizersgracht 609 (Centrum)
1016DS Amsterdam
Telephone: +31 20 5516500
Mon-Wed 10am-6pm
Fri-Sat 10am-9pm
Sat-Sun 10am-6pm

© Paul Kooiker – Untitled (2020) and Untitled (2021) – top and bottom