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ART ROTTERDAM – 4 – HAUTE PHOTOGRAPHIE – The photography event during Art Rotterdam – the first batch


Haute Photographie has been organised since 2016, with two editions per year in recent years (one in Rotterdam and one in Amsterdam). Consequently, we can argue that this is a value for Art Rotterdam, and it again stands for an extensive programme for the photography lover.

A 5-day party, with more than 50 photographers (a list of the best-known ones can be found down further), a nice mix of major figures who belong to the canon of the medium, but also of new, young and promising talent, a good and quick access with public & private transport are just a few of the trump cards. Add “meet & greets” guided visits with experts, a well-stocked book market, a restaurant and Vip events and you get just about the whole picture.

The organisers themselves describe the event as a “Boutique photography fair with the allure of a museum”.

It does away with the stands and thus takes the experience to a new level, aimed at the seasoned collector as well as the novice enthusiast. Central to Haute Photographie is a group exhibition of work by internationally recognised grandmasters, but it just becomes fascinating to see young talent alongside. Moreover, three of these talents (Sam Warnaar (Dutch, 2000), Asha Swillens (Dutch, 1994) & Alida van Gool (Dutch, 1986)) have a relationship with Rotterdam: they were born, live or studied there. If you want to learn about the medium of photography or about the artists, the book fair probably offers a solution. With a nice selection of monographs on the artists and overviews on photography, you will quickly enrich your bookshelf. And if you also know that a lot of the artists/authors will be present at the fair, you immediately can ask them to sign your book. This certainly applies to Eric van den Elsen, but you can read more about that later.

Haute Photographie is a meeting place for artists, curators, collectors and everyone with a heart for photography.

A few of the artists present:

Albarrán Cabrera (Spain 1969 & 1969), Albert Watson (UK/US 1942), Alida van Gool (Dutch, 1986), Antoine Khôl (France 1973), Asha Swillens (Dutch, 1994),, Barry Kornbluh (Us, 1952), Eric van den Elsen (Dutch, -), Fleur Huijsdens (Dutch, -), Gaby Fling (Dutch, -), Gemmy Woud-Binnendijk (Dutch, 1973), GT Nergaard (Norway, 1968), Guus Dubbelman (Dutch, 1957), Jacques Olivar (France, 1941), Jan C.Schlegel (Germany, 1965), Joep Hijwegen (Dutch, 1994), Jonas Bjerre Poulsen (Denmark, 1976), Kevin Osepa (Dutch, 1994), Kojo Anim (Ghana 1999), Laura Bonnefous (France, 1988), Luo Yang (Chinese, 1984), Luuk de Haan (Dutch, 1964), Maarten Koch (Dutch, 1968), Marcus Schaefer (Germany, 1987), Michael Walrond (US, -), Neeltje de Vries (Dutch, 1976), Nora Papp (Swiss, 1975), Olga Wagemans (Dutch, 1983), Rob Grad (US 1968), Rolf van Rooij (Dutch 2003), Ruben van Schalm (Dutch, 1988), Rutger ten Broeke (Dutch, 1944), Sam Warnaar (Dutch, 2000), Sante D’Orazio (US 1956), Sara Punt (Dutch, 1994), Schilte & Portielje (Dutch, 1953 & 1958), Yani (Dutch, 1959)


Albert Watson UK 1942 (images 3-6)

There is really no need to introduce Albert Watson – he has been among the absolute best in the world for 40 years, and some of his images are part of the collective memory. He is a Scottish photographer, based in New York. Watson is particularly famous for his iconic celebrity, fashion and art photography. His work is featured in galleries and museums worldwide. Watson is ranked among the most influential and successful photographers of all time. Through the wide variety and diversity of his images an effortless versatility is reflected, yet they are always identifiable as Albert Watson photographs by their visual impact and technical virtuosity. The power of Watson lies in his ability to capture and convey his interest in what he sees, be it fashion, nature or movie star.

He has been working for the biggest magazines in the world, like Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and Rolling Stone, as well as ad campaigns for world-renowned brands. He has won many awards during his career and even received the Order of the British Empire from Queen Elizabeth II in 2015. Throughout his career, Watson has also dedicated a big part of his time in producing a big collection of personal work. His work has been exhibited in numerous exhibitions worldwide and has been included in numerous international private and public collections.


Schilte & Portielje (The Netherlands 1953 & 1958)(Images 7-10)

Huub Schilte and Jacqueline Portielje intensively explore the rich possibilities of the computer as an artistic medium and have been doing so since 1997.

The computer is both their photography darkroom as well as a drawing/painting tool. Their work has been featured in many exhibitions worldwide and has been included in numerous international private and corporate collections. Schilte Portielje work without a preconceived plan or subject. With their self-produced image fragments, they compose their own dream world. Subtle eroticism, demanding poses, or the quiet poetry of desire are the elements used in this dark world rich in contrast in black and white, filled with characters who are endlessly captivating. In their work Schilte Portielje constantly explore the boundaries between fantasy and reality, giving it a certain surreal quality. Could the composed black and white figures exist in real life? Are they in pleasure or pain? These questions make Schilte Portielje’s world one in which you would like to get lost forever.


Eric van den Elsen (The Netherlands -)(Images 11-14)

Eric van den Elsen’s work is characterized by a natural liveliness and cinematic style, yet pose-free and beyond the expected, giving rise to imagery of realness and a natural kind of beauty.

Following his early interests in music and street photography from the 1970’s, he studied photography at The Royal Academy in The Hague. Eric van den Elsen’s quest for creating beauty and ease working in elaborate locations has led to a long track of fashion assignments for JAN Magazine, Marie Claire and fashion labels throughout the worldAlma Desnuda, (release February 8, 2023) Spanish for Naked Soul, is a series that observes the delicate sway of a young woman with an island. A dance that reflects the natural beauty of a life without ego. The naked body, surrounded by nature, is only the symbol of the nude soul. The pure presence of the girl opens the doors to dimensions where she and the island become one, where form and spirit coexist in harmony.

Book presentation and signing session

On Saturday 11 February, the book presentation will be combined with a signing session by Eric van den Elsen. Haute will present his latest book: Alma Desnuda.

Naturally the book can also be ordered through Kahman Gallery or the author @ € 59,95 + shipping cost


Antoine Khôl (France, 1973) (images 15-18)

Antoine Khol is a Paris-based photographer and graduate from the Paris School of Photography (ICART PHOTO). Having worked in the commercial field and specifically with perfume, wine, and spirit brands, the perfectionist and sleek aesthetics of such visual language are directly reflected in his personal projects as well. In his latest long-term series “Untitled”, his focus is directed on plants, fruits, and vegetables.

Khol’s long-term observations result in unique visuals full of harmony of form and colour. Minimalist in their essence yet rich in their details, the artist’s still life photographs allow for a pleasing and curiosity-igniting viewing experience.


Jonas Bjerre Poulsen (Denmark, 1976) (Images 19-22)

Fragmenting bodies, architecture and nature, the Danish photographer Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen reinvents the forms around him as luminous images, creating intimate and enigmatic juxtapositions that invite the viewer to look again and imagine what lies beyond the frame.

Trained at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen, he mixes his spatial sensibility and understanding of shape with conceptual thoughts and visions that bring creative projects to life. Bjerre-Poulsen has a strong vocation for creating thoughtful works that stand out in an understated, refined manner. For him it is all about balance. Balance between richness and restraint, between order and complexity. Minimalism that acquires softness and visual matter that assumes haptic qualities.

Bjerre-Poulsen has a passion for phenomenology, the philosophical study of human experience. As human beings, we tend to understand the world through a viewpoint that is related to our own body, our own symmetry and scale. But all forms in the universe are structured around the same patterns—from a molecular to celestial scale. When we understand life from that perspective, we understand that humans, nature and the built environment are all part of the same geometric and structural patterns. We translate what we perceive in nature and how we understand our own bodies into what we see in the arts.

The sphere is a recurring motif in his work. It is an image that according to Bjerre-Poulsen could be used to understand life. It is a strong symbol that defines the most intimate of spaces; the womb, relationships between people, and that between man and God. The balance of spheres is what makes nature predictable and mathematical. Geometry is an abstract system of formalization that makes sense to us—squares, triangles, circles. This understanding is incorporated into how we physically construct and mentally understand the world.


Neeltje de Vries (The Netherlands, 1976) (images 23-26)

“I take most pictures when I’m not photographing. It’s in the subconscious.”

Neeltje de Vries is a photographer based in Amsterdam. She works as an independent photographer. Shooting fine art and commissioned work.

In her work Neeltje looks for images that touch the viewer. Images that tell a story. Searching for the thin line between friction and power. That can be both disturbing and pleasing, but always with an eye for aesthetics.


Ruben van Schalm (The Netherlands, 1988), (images 27-30)

Born in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, Ruben van Schalm started working as a model and actor for renowned Dutch photographer Erwin Olaf in 2008. He developed a love for photography and started to create his own vision a few years ago. Van Schalm is best known for his aesthetic of the male nude. He usually works in series, where he often focuses on the pristine beauty of man, but also on the fragility of nature that surrounds them.

Van Schalm works and lives in Israël.


Gemmy Woud-Binnendijk (The Netherlands 1973)(images 31-34)

Gemmy Woud Binnendijk is a Dutch contemporary artist. Her creative path began with liquid pigments and a brush, but, as life often does, her path took her away from painting. In claiming space for her creative practice, Gemmy picked up a camera and started experimenting. “This became a way for me to paint again” Through the manipulation of light and pixels, Gemmy began creating work that exists somewhere in-between painting and photography. The lighting has become an aesthetic that layers velvet colors across a canvas of deep shadow and glinting highlights- to create an image full of shadow and light with a beautiful stillness in-between.


Haute Photographie Rotterdam 2023
8-12 February
Keilepand, Keilestraat 9 , Rotterdam

John Devos

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