Johan van Breukelen

Johan van Breukelen originally began his artistic career as a lighting and decor-designer with several theatre companies. Since 1989, he has devoted himself to two-dimensional works of art in which he draws with light. He makes photo works and photographs. His photo works are a combination of photography and different drawing and painting techniques. The photographs are characterized by playing with light and reflection and the direct painting of bodies. Men inspire the subjects of his paintings. During photographic sessions he seeks, together with his models, to imagine his ideas and fantasies, male sexual energy, strength and vulnerability.

The manipulation in the photography is a reflection of the contact between photographer and model and portrays for both of them an innermost and thus highly personalized state of being. The end-result is thus a “biographical monument.” Johan van Breukelen’s art both repels and attracts the observer. It is not always pleasant to be confronted with light where all your intuition tells you to expect darkness. The work therefore provides a focus on reality in the life of the observer. The play with light and darkness demands contrast for its perception.

For only through consciousness of darkness is light revealed, and vice versa. By working with shadows, van Breukelen portrays men’s desire, contact-seeking and bonding with other men. Through the photographer’s eyes, a mirror image is an external expression of an inner world and is intended as a symbol of the force of attraction between men which is based on the compulsion to encounter and become acquainted with oneself.