Hellen van Meene
Hellen Van Meene (https://www.hellenvanmeene.com/) (born in Alkmaar, the Netherlands, 1972) studied photography at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam. Over the last twenty years, Hellen van Meene has produced a complex body of work, offering a contemporary take on photographic portraiture. Characterized by her exquisite use of light, formal elegance, and palpable psychological tension, her depictions of girls and boys on the cusp of adulthood demonstrate a clear aesthetic lineage to seventeenth-century Dutch painting. Van Meene captures the intimacy in the photographer/subject relationship, bringing out a sense of honesty and vulnerability from within her models and highlighting the beauty of imperfection. Her work has been exhibited internationally and is in the collections of major museums around the world, including the Guggenheim Museum, New York; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Art Institute of Chicago; Brooklyn Museum; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. She has five monographs on her name the others include “Portraits” (Aperture, 2004) “Japan Series,” “New Work” and “Tout va disparaître” and “The Years Shall Run like Rabbits”
LACP Interviews Hellen Van Meene
LACP asks Hellen Van Meene ten questions about their background, career in and beliefs about photography.
LACP: What kind of photographer are you?
Hellen Van Meene: I don’t see myself as a photographer. I see myself more as an artist that works with a camera.
LACP: How long have you been shooting?
HVM: Since I was 16 years old.
LACP: Where did you get your training?
HVM: I followed The Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam.
LACP: When did you know you wanted to devote your life to photography?
HVM: When I was 16 years old. I loved making photos of my friends. That was the start and beginning of making portraits of teenagers.
LACP: Did you ever come close to giving up?
LACP: Have you sacrificed anything by being a photographer?
HVM: I dont see things like giving something up. I always try and see possibilities. I don’t like to limit myself. Even when my 2 daughters were young I could work. for example for a shoot for the New york times I brought my 10 weeks old baby to Tokyo because I was still breastfeeding her and I had to take photos…No I have not sacrificed anything…
LACP: What have you gained by being a photographer?
HVM: I have learned so much and especially meeting new people that were willing to pose for me. Hearing their private stories and working with them. I am very grateful for that.
LACP: What classes do you teach at LACP?
HVM: Finding your own voice in Photography.
LACP: What do you love most about teaching?
HVM: To inspire others and help them to understand their own talent. To guide them in finding their own possibilities in there work.
LACP: What advice would you give someone who is thinking about making a career in photography?
HVM: Check the possibilities of light in your work and make sure you watch the details in your photos and don’t give up!