Hans Withoos

Hans Withoos lives and works in the Netherlands. Withoos’ photography is set in the world of abundance and artifice – the smell of decadence wafts towards the viewer. It is a world simultaneously familiar and different. In Withoos’ exaggerated scenes, the figures crowding the images become archetypes, and the viewer is overcome by a sense of alienation. The work is full of layered, staged images with idiosyncratic esthetics. Sometimes the photographs evoke emotions related to suffering, sensuality and hidden oppressiveness; at other times the images depict the complete opposite and are deliberately emotionless.

Models are portrayed as Greek mythological heroes, movie stars or plastic dolls. All are photographed in edgy environments. The demonstrated anxiety in ‘The Beauty of Suffering’ is the element that brings the theme to life.

Withoos describes: “It takes a lot of preparation before the ultimate image is shot. The choice of the model, clothing and make-up must measure up to the image I have in mind. Later, in the studio I edit the images on the computer. Like a classical painter I build layer upon layer to complete the image to perfection.”