When looking at last years prize winners for the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize at the National Portrait Gallery in London, I came across this image, by Hendrik Kerstens. I really like how he’s made the plastic bag look like a sculpture. It’s so simple, but a very strong image that kept popping up in my mind since I saw it. The girl in the photographs is Kerstens daughter.
“Hendrik Kerstens was born in 1956 in The Hague, Netherlands. Winner of the 2001 Dutch Panl Award Kerstens is a self-taught photographer who initially turned to a model close at hand, his daughter Paula. Since starting to photograph Paula in 1995 Kersten’s work has been exhibited in over 40 exhibitions across Europe and the United States. In his portraits Paula is always depicted as being austere, serene and illuminated with a characteristic ‘dutch’ light. In September he will open his first solo New York exhibition at the Witzenhausen Gallery. Kersten’s short-listed portrait was conceived in New York when he noticed the excessive amount of plastic bags given away in shops. As a humorous reaction to this environmental problem he photographed the plastic bag in the style of a seventeenth century cap.”