Nurtured by the life of the international art world and memories of the Old Dutch masters such as Vermeer and Rembrandt, Hoogendijk takes the beholder on a journey into her universe: a dynamic and inspiring realm where visual arts, technology, and theater melt together into photography.
Hoogendijkʼs work is characterized by sharp iconic images that deeply touch your soul. With her camera, she enchants with lighting, and her images often contain religious and mythical themes. At the core of her work lies a quest for the majesty of vulnerability–an image without embellishment that captures the powerful essence of naked emotion. This theme is prominent in her portrait series Regal of 2012.
Micky Hoogendijk feels just as much at home behind the camera as in front of the camera. Drawing from her own experience, she understands and feels the emotion of her subjects and coaxes them to reveal all to her lens. And the camera connects her to her beloved mother and her own history. As a photographer and artist she has come full circle. Raised in a world of art, everything falls into place in her work as a photographer.
Micky Hoogendijk’s photographic work has appeared in art shows like Art Platform Los Angeles, E- merge Art Fair in Washington DC, Contemporary Art Fair in Istanbul, Art Fair for Modern and Contemporary Art Cologne Germany, Art Toronto Canada, Rotterdam Contemporary Art Fair, Amsterdam PAN, KunstRai and ForReal. Exhibitions in London, Vancouver Canada, Karlsruhe, Los Angeles, Austin TX, Santa Fe NM, Bogota-Colombia, Mexico City, Antwerpen, London, and Amsterdam, and her work even went all the way to Tokyo, Japan. She has garnered both critical acclaim and commercial success and has signed with galleries in Amsterdam, Houston, Mexico City, Los Angeles, Vancouver, Antwerp, and the UK.
Micky, before start talking about your Photography, could you tell us about yourself? Who is Micky Hoogendijk?
Micky: Art has always been part of my life. I grew up in an international art scene in Europe, I spent years in front of the camera as an actress and model. Then my life’s work changed in 2009 when my late mother’s last gift, a camera, inspired me and became the drive behind the creation of new life.
I was born in Amsterdam on July 8, 1970, and grew up immersed in an international environment of art; surrounded by artists, art dealers, theater makers, actors, and dancers. My grandfather, Dirk Hoogendijk, was one of the most successful art dealers in The Netherlands in the last century. He used his perceptive eye to enrich many museums, including the Rijksmuseum, with the works of the Dutch Masters. As a young girl, I spent many hours in the painting workshop of my stepfather, the painter Roelof Frankot, who began as a photographer before moving his focus to abstract art.
As a young adult in the 90s, a time when postmodernism was just revealing itself, I was in the center of the Amsterdam and International art scene as both the wife and business partner of famous postmodern artist Rob Scholte. Only in my 20s, I ran the company Rob Scholte BV and was project manager of the prestigious and ambitious work ‘Après nous le deluge’, a wall and ceiling painting of 1,200 square meters in Nagasaki, Japan.
Later, I turned my attention further to business and entertainment and, as creative director of Supperclub, I was actively involved in the international expansion of that renowned brand.
In this versatile career, you will also find me in front of the camera. As a model, I posed for many important Dutch designers; as an actor, I appeared in European and US films and TV series. And in 2008, I was awarded “Best Actress in a Feature Film” at the New York International Independent Film & Video Festival for my role in Blind-spot.
And so in 2009 when I received that last gift from my ailing mother: a professional still camera, everything changed again. This gift changed my career forever. Two months after my mother passed away, I moved to San Francisco, where I discovered the majestic lines and architecture of the city through the eye of the camera.
By 2010, living and working again in Los Angeles, I discovered my passion for artistic portraits. In 2012 I moved to Austin, Texas, where I created my first body of work. And by 2015 I returned to Los Angeles to focus on art shows all around the world.
In 2018, after traveling around the world for over 18 years, I returned to Europe where I currently live and work in the South of Holland near the Belgium border in a beautiful studio with my own gallery adjacent to that. (www.gallerymickyhoogendijk.com)
How would you describe your photographic approach?
Micky: Nurtured by the life of the international art world and memories of the Old Dutch masters such as Vermeer and Rembrandt, I take the beholder on a journey into my universe: a dynamic and inspiring realm where visual arts, technology, and theater melt together into photography.
My work is characterized by sharp iconic images that deeply touch your soul. With my camera, I try to enchant with lighting, and my images often contain religious and mythical themes. At the core of my work lies a quest for the majesty of vulnerability–an image without embellishment that captures the powerful essence of naked emotion.
I feel just as much at home behind the camera as in front of the camera. Drawing from my own experience as an actor and life events, I understand and feel the emotion of my subjects and coaxes them to reveal all to my lens. And the camera connects me to my beloved mother and my own history. As a photographer and artist, I feel I came full circle. Raised in a world of art, everything falls into place in my work as a photographer and since 2020 also as a sculpture.
What is the most important component of a spectacular artwork?
Micky: That is to connect you to you. I believe that we all find something of ourselves in artworks we love.
Do the Internet and increasingly high-quality mobile devices mean the death of professional photography?
Micky: Not at all, the only thing it does is giving us a brother’s reach of our work and inspiration from other’s lives. Of course, this depends on who you follow 😉
Recurring themes in your art are religion, society, and mythology. What inspired you to explore these themes?
Micky: Those themes are the essence of life and knowledge. I think it is very important to know what was done before you. How we were thinking and how we lived our lives. I can learn so much from ancient stories, somehow they all tell us the same thing. And when you connect to that you can tell the same story again but this time in your own words.
What are you working on right now?
Micky: I’m traveling to Luxembourg to shoot a group of my muzes in the MNHA, Musée national d’historie et d’art. There is a beautiful collection of Florentine art in the baroque “Beyond The Medici” and I want to connect the old and the new in a new art series.
And I’m working on the second series of bronze sculptures in my studio.
How do you protect the rights of your photographs in this online era?
Micky: I don’t. To create an artwork of my photography you need a high res image. I only work with the best fine art printers in the world and my work becomes valuable because it is a signed and numbered limited edition with a certificate of authenticity. Everything else is just a lousy print and therefore has no value. I visited some people the other day and they had some of my work printed in a small format hanging on their walls. They told me they didn’t have the money to afford my work but were saving it for the past five years and now they were finally ready to get a real print signed by me. That is something I can only be happy about. Please do enjoy the artwork online, use it as a screen saver and hang it on your vision board. That I only see as a huge compliment.
Of course, magazines and other outlets always have to mention you in the credits as the creator of the work. And they do. It is very easy to find misuse of this via google images.
What was the most recent piece you’ve enjoyed working on, and why?
Micky: I photographed five nude muzes on the bottom of the see the Dutch Waddenzee in September 2020.
For a long time, I was looking for a place where we could return to paradise both mentally and physically. Only where we almost sailed of this earth is where we found the world that came close to paradise freedom. The exhibition is currently up in my gallery and there is a virtual tour for all of you to enjoy. https://gallerymickyhoogendijk.com/home-en/
Where would you like to go next?
Micky: Returning to Europe two years ago gave me the opportunity to work on my connections here. After Japan, the US, Mexico, Colombia, and Canada I want to contour Europe. One exhibition in a different country each year. So after the UK and Belgium, I have eyes set on Germany and Luxembourg for the year 2021.
Anything you would like to add that I haven’t asked?
Micky: Since 2020, the first lockdown in March I started working on 3D w work. It turned into a collection of ten bronze sculptures called ‘The Ones’. Next to my photography, this 3 D work is something I would like to continue to explore. You can find all information about this on my website https://mickyhoogendijk.com/sculptures/
During the Covid-19 self-isolation, I was able to let my thoughts wander.
For me personally, this works best while putting my hands to work. My thoughts were with all those families who suddenly had to do it together, pure out of necessity.
That created a bond and also uncomfortable contradictions. Using my hands I saw both consequences being pulled out from the clay into one single statue.
When it was finished, I felt the fragility of the soft clay, shakily held together by some braided iron wire. This constitution changed radically in the bronze foundry. My tender work was cut into pieces and poured out in a red-hot stream at a temperature of almost twelve hundred degrees Celsius. After it cooled down, the families stood there as stable pillars of joint intransigence, including doubts and insecurities embedded in their body language.
We are all individuals ‘One’ and we don’t function on our own: ‘The Ones’.
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