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August 14, 2006

Image of the Week - Rineke Dijkstra

It's the peak of summer, so time for a vacation beach portrait. So for the 5 of us working this week.. Here's a beach image to ponder!

IMO, no one modern photographer has done these better than Rineke Dijkstra. Her auction prices have continued to clime to stupid unbelievable heights, and at only 47, she's had a major retrospective of her work that toured Europe throughout all of 2005, and early 2006. Unfortunately, the show never made it to NYC or the states, and I couldn't fine photo's of it online (just this word doc).

But we can still enjoy the show through her book Rineke Dijkstra:Portraits A Retrospective, published by D.A.P./Schirmer/Mosel.

Rineke_dijkstra_hiltonheadProbably the first major breakthrough body of work for Rineke, this beautiful photo is from her Hilton Head Island, SC series from 1992. It really has a delightful  magic, Rineke captured a moment of this adolescent girl's look of contemplative loneliness, and innocence.

Whenever I look at this photograph, I always think of Botticelli's "The Birth of Venus"

It's not just the colors, but also, her classic vapid expression, the placement of her hands, the way her hair blows in the wind, and the sky blue background.

I'm not sure if Rineke Dijkstra had this painting in mind when creating this photograph.. but you just have to take note of the many similarities.  Would you even consider this a type of Art Appropriation? Maybe.

What do you think of this image?  And the work of Rineke Dijkstra?

Birthofvenus The Birth of a photographic Genius? or

Just another art appropriation abortion??

All thoughts are welcome.


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I think the Birth of Venus connection was 100% completely intentional.
And yes.. she did appropriate the image, which is exactly what makes these portraits important.

Rineke captured that middle ground, "Sweet Spot" in today's hyper-popular art world. The space between a concepteptual reference to past art history, and creating a new beautiful picture. It hence can appeal to both the intellectual art academic, and the new rich collectors looking for something "pretty" to put above their living room sofa!

Great choice MAO!

I have to reexamine the emotion in the Botticelli also. Nice connection MAO.

These are such average images.

So Rineke copies a classic painting in a overly simple photo.. big deal.

These are soooo not original, and will be forgotten even faster than the Loretta Lux work!

Nice connection to Botticelli. Her images are deceptively simple but have an indescribable quality of beauty about them that could allow me to stare at them for hours.

Hah, a slight slight similarity to Lux but much much better without looking nearly as labored.

You haven't done her any favours by picking an image that looks out of focus...

She's one of the great photographers of her generation, and marvellous at capturing the gaucheness of teenagers as they turn into adults. She is also much more sympathetic to her subjects than most of the other great photographers of people of her generation: compare her pictures with Lorca di Corcia or Thomas Ruff, for instance. She rocks.

hey mikey, i saw dijkstra's show at the stedelijk museum when i was in amsterdam this winter. i was definitely touched. her images may not look very special in their jpg internet version, but her prints are sharp and amazing in how they capture a person in a moment of total nothingness--which somehow also feels a little bit sad. the beach series and the portraits of young israeli soldiers were definitely stand-out. some pretty cool video stuff too. like if her portraits could talk and move.

Aw is that a beach photo of you?

totally cute.

Nice selection. We could argue that "Venus" is a tradition in art, addressed by Botticelli, Cranach, Redon, Moreau, and many others - so this is not appropriation.

Then again, the contrapposto and orange seem inspired by Botticelli, much like an homage or appropriation.

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Perhaps you might be interested in the alternative interpretation of Botticelli's the Birth of Venus and La Primavera...

Inclusion in the Tears of Eros at the Thyssen-Bornmiszma validate this picture.

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