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Koos Breukel

Koos Breukel
Van Zoetendaal Publishers (Basalt)

Text by Michael Matthews


36 pages
150 x 180 mm
ISBN 9075574037


The series of portraits of Michael Matthews might almost be described as a manifesto, so strong are the lines of force prefiguring Koos Breukel’s later work. He originally responded to a request from Matthews, an HIV-positive poet and performer who saw these photographic sessions as his ‘last performance’ before his death. These are sombre images of dry, dark, cracked skin, of the pure lines of a delicate bone structure, capturing the light falling on the ultimate beauty of a changing human body from which Koos was to make an artwork in its own right – with the little book composed by Willem van Zoetendaal forming its delicate yet powerful punctuation.

About the Artist
Koos Breukel’s photo studio differs very little from the traditional photo studios that have sprung up throughout the world during the past 150 years of photography. His studio is a confined space containing a wooden, large format camera on a tripod, and a plain background sheet. Although daylight streams in through the roof, it is mainly artificial light that is being used. Here, as in most studios, a wide variety of people come to pose: men, women, the young and the old, students, artists, masters and servants, family, friends and passers-by. Some subjects come for a commissioned photograph, but the majority are selected by Koos Breukel himself.

About the Publisher
Van Zoetendaal Publishers was founded by Willem van Zoetendaal (born The Hague, 1950). He is a graphic designer who has been producing photography books since the early nineties. In 1994 he started publishing his own books, first under the name of Basalt (in collaboration with Frido Troost) and then under the name of Van Zoetendaal Publishers.

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