Carla van de Puttelaar

The photography of Carla van de Puttelaar (1967) is as intimate as it is distant. In both her portraits and her nudes, close-ups and a play with focus are noticeable. This enables her to accent the details she deems most important.

Van de Puttelaar succeeds in keeping a very precise balance between engagement and distance. The expression of the eyes, small moles, but also distinguishing marks like the imprint of lingerie lace or elastic, of a slight bruise, are pictured. Distance is created by a perfect control of shape and cropping, but even more so by her manipulation of light and colour.

The unnatural, almost porcelain colour of the body breathes a cold atmosphere. Her images balance on the edge between sexuality and eroticism, but never cross that border. By choosing a slightly transparent blouse or lace pants, the body is not revealed, but not veiled either.

To Carla van de Puttelaar each portrait is in a sense a self-portrait. She is always seeking elements like vulnerability and sensuality. Those same traits she finds in classic nineteenth century photography, or Japanese engravings by among others Utamaro (1753-1806). Even in his most explicit sexual portraits he kept an eye for often moving details.

Van de Puttelaar finished her studies in 1996 at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy. That same year she won the Esther Kroon award. She participated in several exhibitions, in Turin, Rome, Paris, Groningen and Amsterdam. In her current solo exhibition, new portraits and nudes are presented.