Hans Withoos studied at the Academy of Visual Arts in Tilburg, The Netherlands, from 1983 to 1989, and then embarked on a highly successful career as a photographer in the commercial and fashion world. Over the past 20 years, he has happily combined commissioned work with his own art. Although he is a highly successful international photographer with clients in Brazil, Spain, Italy, the United States and Morocco, he has always found time for his own art. Over the years, he has produced numerous photographic series, shot in locations all over the world.
Hans is fascinated by beauty in all its aspects: the beauty of drama, of the body and of light, as well as the beauty of suffering, as is shown in his series ‘Nocturnal Delight’ based on the seven deadly sins.
His series ‘New Romantics’ and ‘Lady with her Golden Toys’ show his fascination with the beauty of strength, and his latest series of still lifes, ‘Withoos meets Withoos’ is all about the beauty of symbolism. Like all his other work, his still lifes show his dramatic use of light and the layering that are his signature style.
The photography of Hans Withoos is set in a world of abundance and artifice, suggesting a certain decadence It is a world that is both alien and familiar. The figures that crowd his images become archetypes, leaving the viewer with a sense of alienation. His work is multi-layered, with carefully staged images and an idiosyncratic aesthetic. The images sometimes evoke emotions such as suffering, sensuality and oppressiveness; at other times they are deliberately devoid of any emotion at all. As Hans Withoos says: “The images don’t show a critical perspective, but rather an observant one.”
About his work method, he explains: “I come up with an idea and then go looking for the right location, the models and the styling, and while I combine them to make the final image, I am still open to change, improvement and new ideas. Yes, it is staged photography. But even for me, there are always surprises in my work, an element of the unexpected. After the shooting, I then work like a painter, carefully layering the images, creating the final image in my mind and on my computer. It can take weeks before a picture is finally completed.”