AMSTERDAM. S’intitola “If this is true… 8,000 Miles on a Motorcycle in the Usa” la mostra con scatti di Robin de Puy esposta fino al 26 giugno al Fotomuseum Den Haag.
“Io non voglio tornare […]. Voglio continuare a indossare lo stesso paio di jeans ogni giorno, sentendo il sole sulla mia pelle e decidere se voglio restare o andarmene il giorno stesso. Mi piace il fatto che tutto ciò che possiedo può stare in due borse, tra la sella, e uno zaino“. Sono questi i pensieri di Robin de Puy, annotati sul suo diario il 4 giugno 2015, dopo 4 settimane di viaggio in moto in America, dopo aver percorso 4908 km sulla sua Harley-Davidson. Gliene restano sei settimane e 5092 km.
De Puy è una giovane ritrattista di successo. Ma questo ha un prezzo. Le troppe commissioni le hanno lasciato infatti pochissimo tempo per realizzare nuovi progetti. Temendo che questo potesse avere ripercussioni sulla sua creatività nel 2014 ha deciso di intraprendere un viaggio per sfuggire alla pressione delle aspettative del pubblico. Un viaggio iniziato nel 2015, senza meta, e il cui equipaggiamento consisteva in pochissimi abiti, un paio di lampade, due telecamere e qualche strumento per l’illuminazione. Il minimo indispensabile.
L’unico suo obiettivo era cercare volti caratteristici da fotografare. Senza evidenziare contrasti sociali o l’antitesi tra l’America urbana e il resto dell’America. Il lavoro di Robin de Puy aggiunge una nuova dimensione al genere classico dell’American Photographic Road Trip un genere reso famoso da fotografi come Robert Frank, Jacob Holdt e Alec Soth.
AMSTERDAM. “I do not want to go back – no launch parties or openings anymore. Wearing the same pair of jeans every day, feeling the sun on my skin and deciding whether I will stay or go on the day itself. I also love that everything I own here fits into two saddle bags and a backpack.”
Robin de Puy’s thoughts, jotted down in her journal on 4 June 2015. At that point, she had been in America for four weeks and covered 4908 km on her Harley-Davidson. Another six weeks and 5092 km to go. De Puy is a young portrait photographer in great demand. In 2014, she decided to go on the trip as a way of escaping the pressure of public expectations. Her success has a downside: the constant flood of commissions leaves her almost no time for autonomous work and she feared losing her sense of creative freedom. Her American road trip gave her the chance to go back to deciding for herself what to photograph. The result is a splendid series of portraits, now presented by the Hague Museum of Photography in the photographer’s first ever solo show in a museum setting.
Robin de Puy is currently one of the Netherlands’ most popular portrait photographers. Her career took off immediately after she graduated from the Fotoacademie. Her Girls in Prostitution series won her the Photo Academy Award for the best final year project of 2009. She went on to win the Dutch National Portrait Prize in 2013 for a photograph of fellow-photographer An-Sofie Kesteleyn, who was seriously ill at the time. Both prizes were presented at ceremonies held in the Hague Museum of Photography, creating a particularly warm relationship between the photographer and the museum. The main clients commissioning De Puy’s work are Dutch magazines LINDA and Vrij Nederland and the Volkskrant newspaper. She has recently added international clients like Bloomberg Businessweek and New York Magazine to her CV.
De Puy set off across America in May 2015. Her most vital equipment was in her saddlebags: a couple of lamps, two cameras and a lighting umbrella. She followed no set route but toured the country looking for distinctive faces to photograph – people of all ages and both sexes whom she just happened to meet on her travels. She specifically did not want to record social contrasts or the antithesis between urban America and the country’s endless empty spaces. Robin de Puy’s work adds a new dimension to the classic genre of the American Photographic Road Trip, most famously practised by people like Robert Frank, Jacob Holdt and Alec Soth: her sympathetic portraits could have been taken anywhere between Washington, Warsaw and Vladivostok.
ROBIN DE PUY. If this is true… 8,000 Miles on a Motorcycle in the USA
The Hague Museum of Photography, Stadhouderslaan 43, 2517 HV Den Haag
Now until Jun-26-2016