Johann Husser


Imre Kiss

Artist Feature

Every week an artist is featured whose single image was published by Der Greif. The Feature shows the image in the original context of the series.

Jouk Oosterhof - Untitled

Jan 31, 2018

Sometimes, but not very often, I find people who are not vain at all. They can let go of control and give it to me. If this feature is accompanied by an autonomous character or attitude it inspires me in a way. I even surprise myself doing things I otherwise would not.


The other key ingredient in my photography is the scenery. The lived-in interior with structures or patterns in carpets, tiles, curtains and fabrics. But most important the traces of life. To find these places I turn into a kind of Sherlock Holmes. It can easily take me weeks to months. So it takes time, but it brings me inspiration, reunifications and beautiful stories. I could write an epistle about it, but let’s move on because I want to introduce you to three of my favourites.


First of all, André. He was my neighbour almost 15 years ago and I have been taking pictures of him since. The way he inspired me made me realize he is like a muse. His gentle expression made me photograph him in women’s clothing without cross-dressing him. No excessive feminine characterization. No wigs or make-up. The choice of female clothing was made with subtlety in mind. Not ornate or flamboyant but just to feel natural and also related to André’s character and age. The pastel range of his wardrobe relates to his porcelain skin and the soft colours of his home. (1-3)


I saw Lara Verheijden at a fashion show at the Rietveld Academy. I archived her in my head and found her through Instagram years later. She is autonomous in a way I do not often see. Lara holds her presence with conviction; she is herself and is neither shaped by society nor exhibiting for the sake of showing off. She is empathic and aware, an unusual combination for someone so young.

I didn’t choose to photograph Lara because of her harelip; rather because of her spirit and rawness. It is her open attitude, confidence and infectious humour that speaks. (4 and 5)


And finally, I would like you to meet my schizophrenic uncle Gijs. He turned 62 last year, which is surprising, as he has been living from liquid food, cigarettes and coffee for as long as I can remember. Maybe it is because of his character, he never seems stressed or angry.  He is gentle and always happy to see his family. He is an intelligent man, confusion in his head changed him. I am not documenting his life but portraying him in a way we figure out together. He chooses to be naked whenever possible, including in my photos. I still have to ask him why. (6 -8)


Artist Blog

The blog of Der Greif is written entirely by the artists who have been invited to doing an Artist-Feature. Every week, we have a different author.

Gregor Schneider

Feb 06, 2018 - Jouk Oosterhof

It was warm in Venice in 2001. Entering the ‘Totes Haus u r’ by Gregor Schneider gave me a nice coolness at first, but soon it made me freeze. For today I choose a work that has got to do with interiors again. The way I like them, with traces. But this time these traces are created by the artist. It was a true thriller experience walking from one room to the next. From a hallway to a moving room. Sometimes you had to bend to get to the next space. Seeing plastered walls and mysterious plastic bags. Soon all daylight was gone and the smell of damp appeared. I started to get worried. But when entering the cellar I was truly afraid this could be my last moment. And I wanted to get back into the heat as soon as possible.


Gregor Schneider


Showground, Page 21, © Paul Kooiker

Paul Kooiker

Feb 05, 2018 - Jouk Oosterhof

What an exceptional scene and situation; what an exceptional pose. When I first saw this photo in 2006 by Paul Kooiker, I was startled. I had not seen this kind of image before. Using the basic components like this changed my way of looking at photography.

The title of the whole series is: ‘Showground’. The model is exhibiting herself in full surrender, committed to Paul Kooiker. For me that shows they share an exceptional cooperation and I honor them for that. Her convincing shape and the rough edges make me tingle. I would find this a rewarding result.


Paul Kooiker

Crime scene

Feb 04, 2018 - Jouk Oosterhof

It is a shame I don’t give myself a moment, everyday, to enjoy this book with a cup of coffee. Page 46 shows this image of a lady posing in a way you will never see in daily life. Okay, she is not posing, she is dead. And when you are dead, you lose awareness, but for me she gains power. Her ego is gone and her shape remains. Do you have this book? Turn to page 83. Not only the distorted lamp, but also the less obvious traces tell me something, anything. Is this your house? Please call me.



Cascade #1, 2017, 133 x 150 cm, Gouache on canvas, © Arjan van Helmond, Photo Sander Tiedema

Arjan van Helmond

Feb 02, 2018 - Jouk Oosterhof

I didn’t visit this exhibition, this image just came across my laptop. Nevertheless I choose to share this with you because it made me shiver. The combination of this new work by Arjan van Helmond and the interior – it all comes together.  The home of Lucebert where he worked for 9 months; the sea that was close to the residence; a poem of Lucebert about a ‘Small revolution’. It is helpful to know that Arjan used to show interiors in his paintings. Now he has painted the sea while working in some of his own interior scenes. And he kept the traces of this scene in another way, as an addition to the new work, by presenting it this way. He made it possible to be part of it for a moment. I wish I had visited the exhibition.


Arjan van Helmond


T.A.-H.O.-96, 120 x 180 cm, gelatin silver print, © Dirk Braeckman, Courtesy Zeno X Gallery, Antwerp

Dirk Braeckman

Feb 01, 2018 - Jouk Oosterhof

The biggest wall in my house is reserved for this work, though secretly any work of Dirk Braeckman will do. For now I choose this one because there is too much to see. He states: “I can only get a good shot once I’ve taken everything in.” I feel he did take everything in. I don’t even have one question about this work. For me it’s completely related to the wisdom of my Dutch hero Wim T. Schippers. This is what he said: “Why does it always have to be about something, a tree is not about something. It has its effect.”


Dirk Braeckman

Zeno X Gallery