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Koos Breukel


being dutch

Exhibition view, Koos Breukel, “being dutch“, 2013, © Rainer Iglar

Koos Breukel has been regarded as one of the main protagonists of Dutch portrait photography for more than 20 years. Breukel originally made a name for himself with his sensitive portraits of friends, for instance his early series of the actor Michael Matthews afflicted by an incurable illness (Hyde, 1996), as well as anonymous portraits of people bound by a common fate. In these portraits of (partially) blind people (Cosmetic View, 2005) or of survivors of airplane crashes he addresses the relationship between photographer and model, but also the act of seeing and being seen.
In his project “Being Dutch“ Breukel succeeds in using selected images of people to fathom the actual mood and state of an entire country. In something of a retrospective the artist showcases different people, his family, fellow artists and friends, through to the official portrait of King Willem Alexander, recently enthroned. Also included in the exhibition are portraits, taken by Breukel, of Salzburg residents from the Fotohof’s immediate Lehen neighbourhood.
The curator for this special project was Willem van Zoetendaal. In 2012 his publishing company, Van Zoetendaal Publishers, published the book “Koos Breukel – Being Dutch“, from which the exhibition derives its name.


Koos Breukel, “NDO“, 2010
Koos Breukel, “Rineke Dijkstra“, 1999, Baryt Archival Pigment-Print, 40 x 30 cm, Courtesy Van Zoetendaal
Curated by Willem van Zoetendaal