Carla van de Puttelaar (NL, 1967)
The photography of Carla van de Puttelaar allows the eye to touch the skin on many levels. Through her lens, she makes the viewer aware of the sensitivity and the sensuality of skin, which she examines in detail, without ever forgetting to be aware of the importance of the shapes of the structure that the skin envelopes. The female body has long been her main subject, but in recent years she has also successfully begun to examine the skin and texture of flowers, particularly those on the brink of fading. In them she has discovered the same fascinating sensitivity and sensuality as in her female models. Natural light is one of Van de Puttelaar’s most important tools and assets. She allows it to play around with her subjects and then catches it at its most seductive moment and from that moment on, it is captured for posterity.
Van de Puttelaar has always had a keen interest in portraiture. Her portrait photographs are less well-known than much of her other work, but have always formed an intrinsic and essential part of it. They originate as free work, or as the result of a commission, such as a series done in 2015 for The New Yorker. Like all her photos, her portraits are shot in natural, northern light. In them, her love of old master portraits is clearly recognizable. Van de Puttelaar aims to catch an intense image of the sitter, in which the eye is an important focus. She is keen on recording a specific, momentary expression, be it emotional or powerful, but always individual.