Maurice Scheltens

Maurice Scheltens

  • Bouquets
  • Introduction

  • Bio

  • Expositions

The Dutch photographer Maurice Scheltens creates still-lifes that are both hyper realistic and completely artificial. Objects taken from the worlds of commerce, fashion and design are removed from their natural habitats and placed in a new environment, often exposing them to uneasy conditions. Cut-out pictures of fruits, vegetables and plants are dangling on cords, balancing on other objects or left all alone, lost in a monochrome background. They are arranged and hung together in a three-dimensional setting, conjuring up the solemn tradition of seventeenth-century Dutch still-life painting.
Scheltens has been focusing on still-life photography ever since he graduated photography at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in The Hague, The Netherlands in 1995. Essential to his work is the process in the studio where he constructs his settings. Such as a graphic designer or a painter works layer by layer, Scheltens continuously moves things around, painstaking joining pieces together to form a studied and balanced composition. He often chooses to expose the materiality of the process. Pieces of tape, visible lengths of fishing line and cocktail sticks have not been retouched, but are left as evidence of the time-consuming, handcrafted way of working. These ‘imperfect’ odds and ends reveal the intrinsic paradox in Scheltens’s work. Although each composition is incredibly controlled, it allows room for the false and fictitious. The extremely stylized and seductive still-lifes might seem at ease within the perfectionist worlds of high fashion and high culture they refer to, they also expose the artificial, contrived nature of these worlds.
Scheltens deliberately chooses to operate both in the fields of applied and autonomous art and use them as breeding ground for one another. He borrows from the visual languages of fashion, advertising and Dutch symbolic painting the importance of styling and communication, but employs it as a tool to investigate conditioned ways of looking. Cut off from their comfortable surroundings of give codes and meanings, Scheltens places his ‘real’ objects and cut-outs in staged, illusionary frameworks. In this way, he triggers us to reflect on the accepted and conventional codes of visual culture, showing how easy it is for us to fall under the seductive spell that objects hold out for us today.
Text by Nina Folkersma

1972born in Apeldoorn,The Netherlands
1988 - 1991Polytechnic Fashionschool, Den Isselborg
1991 - 1995Royal Academy of Arts, The Hague, Holland
Lives and works in Amsterdam and Paris

Expositions (sélection)

2006Foresight, Kunstverein Augsburg
2005Bouquet Series, Gallery Martin van Zomeren, Amsterdam
Natura Artis Magistra, Artproject for zoo, Amsterdam
Nominee Discovery Award, Rencontres-Arles
Shift, Quartair, Den Haag
2004l’Insensé Pays-Bas, Louis Vuitton, Tokyo
Printed Matter, Gallery Martin van Zomeren, Amsterdam
2003l’Insensé Pays-Bas, Colette, Paris
Solo Exhibition, Gallery 2RC, Rome
Snippets, Museum of Modern Art, Arnhem
Passion for Pose, Frisia Museum, Spanbroek
2002Fridge, Gallery Fraich Attitude, Paris
Guesteditor for Catalogue Magazine, UVA, Amsterdam
Solo Exhibition, Fashion / Photography Festival, Hyeres
2001Dutch Touch, Gallery 2RC, Rome
Dutch Open, Patrionaat / Fietsznfabriek, Haarlem
2000Eclips / O Solo Mio, W139, Amsterdam
1999Selected for Fashion / Photography Festival, Hyeres
Now tm, Fargfabriken, Stockholm
Shopping For Bags, Nijmegen
Tegenlicht, Paraplufabriek, Nijmegen
Next Image, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam
1998Dutch Design Dead, Lace, Los Angeles
Raw Skin, Nederlands Foto Instituut, Rotterdam
Fish & Ashtrays, Gallery Exedra, Hilversum
1997Direct Hit, Gallery 2.5 / 4.5 and A.C.F.

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