The glory of the Dutch Still Life recreated in plastic. To 17th century merchants, the nouveaux riches of the Dutch Golden Age, collecting luxury items and utensils to show off their wealth and life- style was a competition. They revelled in exotic animals and shells from the East Indies, priceless glassware from Venice, porcelain from China, silver and gold from Antwerp.
A treat for the connoisseur’s eye
To immortalise their high standard of living they commissioned famous Dutch still life painters, including Pieter Claesz, Floris van Dijck, Frans Snyders, Adriaen Coorte and Balthasar van der Ast. These gifted painters captured the items, products and everyday utensils, most of which were made of natural materials, in lifelike detail. They illustrated the prosperity of the 17th century, preserving the various elements for posterity.
Plastic unfortunately is more non-Perishable than the memorabilia from the Golden Age
Today, prosperity produces non-perishable items that will remain on this earth in some shape or form forever – usually plastic. Plastic is the environmental problem of the future, and it threatens both humans and animals alike. Nowadays absolutely everything is fashioned from plastic because it is a durable, convenient and highly useful material. As if that was not bad enough, we are witnessing the rise of plastic for purely decorative purposes. You name it and you have the real thing. This inspired photographer Richard Kuiper to produce still life portraits of plastic in the way of the Old Masters of the 17th century.
At first sight Richard Kuiper’s Still Lives looks like the dutch master paintings from the Golden Age.
Still lifes created by Pieter Claesz or Adriaen Coorte, but wait till you give them a second glance… when you get closer you discover that the tablecloth is a plastic bin liner. That an elegant goblet is an athlete’s plastic water bottle with valve. Richard Kuiper sees the di- chotomy in his work: on the one hand, he admires the mate- rial, the invention of the everlasting. On the other, however, his compositions serve as a warning, and he hopes to use his photos to show how we have gone overboard with our use of plastic.
International Photography Awards
The 2010 International Photography Awards received nearly 15,000 submissions from 103 countries across the globe. IPA is a sister-effort of the Lucie Foundation, where the top three winners are announced at the annual Lucie Awards gala ceremony. The Foundation’s mission is to honor master photographers, to discover new and emerging talent and to promote the appreciation of photography. Since 2003, IPA has had the privilege and opportunity to acknowledge and recognize contemporary photographers’ accomplishments in this specialized and highly visible competition.
Awards Richard Kuiper, Dutch still life in plastic:
2010: 1st place, gold medal, International Photography Awards, Best Still Life 2010
2011: 2nd place, silver medal, The International Award Lorenzo il Magnifico 8th Edition
Dutch still life in plastic – Richard Kuiper
June 22th – August 17th, 2012
Look for Art Gallery
Gustav Mahlerlaan 525
Amsterdam, the Netherlands