Amsterdam based photographer Hans van der Kamp started out as a portrait photographer in the 1970s and his works today are still portraits in his perception, although his exhibits in the USA and Russia have often been subject to censorship due to the ‘provocative’ nature of his works. Van der Kamp focuses on all forms of human sexuality and portrays people with sexual desires that are not considered to be middle of the road in today’s societies. The differences between what is acceptable or not vary greatly in different cultures. Some of his photographs can be on display in Russia whereas these same photographs cannot be exhibited in the United States and vice versa.
His message to the censors: ‘If a nose tells us something about the person portrayed, why should any other body part be less informative?’
Rarely Van der Kamp will photograph actual sexual acts. When asked why he will answer that pornography is much harder to create for him. ‘If I had ever been really good at photographing people in action, I could have been a great photojournalist too, but I absolutely failed in this discipline although I worked for magazines most of my life. I tried over and over again, but I kept delivering portraits in one form or another. I like to control the light, the situation, directing models etc. I am not solely interested in pushing the button at the right moment, although I do admire photographers like Henri Cartier-Bresson, who did just that and who also had a great feeling for light and composition.’
Lorenzo Pereira – Curator for WIDEWALLS.CH on erotica, art and Van der Kamp’s work:
Some people may find themselves embarrassed while participating in the performances by Marina Abramovic. That is actually what the art is really about – what our perception (as viewers) on artist’s work is. Yet, there are still complaints when it comes to representing the nudity, erotica or pornographically labeled works in the contemporary art scene. Many would call those works provocative and perverse. And that’s partially true – they are provocative, and they should be provocative. But it doesn’t mean that they are pure erotica and pornography alone; they are also art, the art of the nude. The work by Dutch photographer Hans van der Kamp would probably provoke the same questions some of which are tackled above. He is an internationally recognized artist, a photographer, yet probably best known as a creator within the art of the nude. Therefore his works would probably be labeled as quite provocative.
Why this new website?
Van der Kamp is a photographer who likes to create websites to promote his work and the works of other artists. To give an example: in 1996 he created AMEA // World Museum of Erotic Art and the site is still going strong. Over the years the site had many new interfaces to be compatible with the demands of ever-changing technology. Not all of these interfaces were successful. The presentation of his photography is crucial to Van der Kamp because he rarely shows up at openings of photography exhibits (not even his own) and lately he has stopped participating in most social networking sites.
What’s new about this interface?
Unlike the main Hans van der Kamp photography website, there is a lot more focus on networking. Instead of leaving it all up to Mr. Zuckerberg with his army of nipple scared nerds censoring anything but expressions of hate and slander, this site will be open for a small group of people interested in Van der Kamp’s work. A free registration will be necessary to enjoy all the benefits of this new site. You will notice there is even a group called Tutti Frutti where you can post your own photography.