Returning for its seventh edition, Unseen Amsterdam highlights the latest developments in fine art photography. Aesthetica collates a list of 2018’s must-see contemporary artists.
Scarlett Hooft Graafland, Flowers Gallery, London
Hooft Graafland’s (b. 1973) surreal images position brightly coloured figures and objects in desolate landscapes such as deserts and salt lakes. The works explore diverse themes such as cultural idenity, environmental issues and identity, turning the familiar into the unknown to encourage awareness.
Todd Hido, Galerie Alex Daniëls – Reflex Amsterdam
The filmic images of American photographer Hido (b. 1968) are both compelling and melancholy. The images find an alternate view of suburbia: one whose shadows and secrets stand in contrast to the vibrant colours that are often associated with the US.
Elina Brotherus, Camara Oscura Galeria de Arte, Madrid
In a range of self-portraits, Finnish photographer Brotherus (b. 1972) combines her past with visual themes from the history of art. Forging connections between personal narratives and the trajectory of the medium, her works offer a double perspective – the result is both introspective and deeply conceptual.
Weronika Gęsicka, Jednostka Gallery, Poland
By manipulating mid-century American stock photographs, Gęsicka (b. 1984) exposes the absurdity of idyllic portrayals of everyday life. Evoking a sense of domestic unease, the works provide uncanny depictions of familiar space, generating haunting scenes through postproduction and surrealism.
Chen Wei, Steiglitz19, Antwerp
Blending image-making and installation, Wei (b. 1980) constructs fictional scenes that are rich in narrative. Combining fragments of modern China with imagined fantasies, the resulting, meticulous compositions are mesmerising and uncanny, offering viewers an immersive experience.
Juno Calypso, TJ Boulting, London
Revealing the artificial construction of femininity, Calypso (b. 1989) reinvents self-portraiture to unravel notions of beauty within elaborately staged photographs. By taking on an alternate persona, the artist subverts notions of the gaze, creating uncanny compositions awash with pink hues.
Thibault Brunet, Galerie Binome, Paris
Brunet (b. 1982) explores the digitisation of reality by capturing the intersection between virtual and tangible worlds. Translating real landscapes into constructed scenes using a 3D scanner, the practitioner plays with notions of artifice.
Alma Haser, The Photographer’s Gallery, London
Haser’s (b. 1989) puzzle-piece portraits negotiate the boundaries between the real and the manufactured. By capturing intimate depictions of identical twins, the photographer examines notions of identity, self-awareness and beauty, combining the two individuals to create one, multi-layered duel-picture.
Erwin Olaf, Flatlands Gallery, Amsterdam
Dutch multidisciplinary artist Olaf (b. 1959) investigates life in cities around the world by constructing cinematic compositions. Highly stylised photographs and videos make careful use of light, creating immaculate – yet uneasy – scenarios that point towards wider social and political narratives.
Edmund Clark, Flowers Gallery, London
Clark (b.1963) engages with state censorship to explore the hidden spaces of control in the “war on terror.” His work visualises the covert sites and experiences associated with the global response to terrorism, and its impact on society and culture.
Unseen Amsterdam runs from 21-23 September. Find out more here.
1. Todd Hido, From “Intimate Distance: Twenty-Five Years of Photographs, A Chronological Album” © Todd Hido
2. Scarlett Hooft Graafland, Still Life with Camel, 2016. © Scarlett Hooft Graafland, Courtesy of Flowers Gallery London and New York
3. Todd Hido, From “Intimate Distance: Twenty-Five Years of Photographs, A Chronological Album” © Todd Hido
4. Elina Brotherus, Der Wanderer 2, from The New Painting, 2004 © the artist, courtesy: gb agency, Paris
5. Image courtesy Weronika Gęsicka.
6. © CHEN WEI, Building, 2015, Courtesy of Leo Xu
7. Juno Calypso, Subterranean Kitchen, 2017.
8. Courtesy Galerie Binome.
9. Luna, from the series Cosmetic Surgery, © Alma Haser.
10. Erwin Olaf, Shanghai Du Mansion Portrait 01, 2017 – 2018.
11. Edmunc Clark, Negative Publicity #117, 2014. Courtesy of Flowers Gallery London and New York