Mirjana Vrbaski over haar kunstwerk voor Meesters op Straat

”Looking at Ferdinand Bol’s self-portrait, I wanted to instill my interpretation of it with a similar kind of concentration and serenity. In a painted portrait, one can just feel the hours that went into making it and I like to try to reproduce that feeling in a photographic portrait… the feeling of a slowly constructed image.
When starting the project, I debated whether to respond to Bol’s self-portrait with a self-portrait. But in the end, I saw no sense in it. The faces of women I usually choose as models tell more complex stories and have much more lyricism than my own face could ever have in the context of a project like this one. So it is not the fact that we are looking at Bol himself that intrigued me. It is the expression and atmosphere of his painting that I felt like responding to.
This is also why it didn’t matter to me whether I photograph a woman or a man. I think that it is the universality and humanness of an expression that make certain paintings remain interesting centuries after having been produced. So I used this as inspiration and a starting point.
The woman I photographed lives in the building across from mine. I look onto her kitchen windows and most evenings I see her having dinner with her four-year-old son. I asked her to pose for me on an impulse. I was nervous but I had a feeling that she has the kind of lyricism I was looking for. And I hoped that I wouldn’t blow this chance.”
Het zelfportret van Bol (1669)

Het zelfportret van Bol (1669)

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