Sunday, February 6, 2011

Hellen Van Meene by Salina Ellis

Van Meene is a portrait artist, but not your everyday documentary type portrait. The majority of her subjects are young girls, probably tweens, between the ages of 9 and 13. Their expressions appear distant, pensive, and melancholy. Their age and far away stares speak to the point at which they are in life. They are at the stage where they will be maturing into women, shedding the innocence of their childhood. To me their faces seem to mourn this loss. Other subjects in her work are interiors, and young boys.

The artist states that she starts with a sketched idea of what she wants the image to look like, including props, lighting and models. Once shooting begins, however, she allows the process to inform her direction. She uses only available light, also allowing it to inform the direction of her images.

Van Meene was born in 1972 in the Netherlands, she studied in Scotland and photographs all over the globe. Her work appears in several books, two of which are dedicated solely to her work.

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