Juxtapoz Magazine - Paul Kooiker's Timeless Fashion Photography

Juxtapoz Magazine – Paul Kooiker’s Timeless Fashion Photography

“Fashion” is a concept that represents what is trending at the moment. Paul Kooiker’s fashion photography, on the other hand, is characterised by its timelessness. The artist portrays the biggest fashion brands and today’s most famous faces, but transports them to a world of their own. Disconnected from time and place, his surreal images feel like film stills with stories we can only guess.

It is for this reason that Paul Kooiker is currently a much sought-after photographer in the world of fashion and beauty. With his fashion commissions, Paul Kooiker breaks free from the dominant beauty paradigms in a seemingly effortless way. He creates an unmanageable kind of beauty that is not superficial, but almost Freudian in the way it plays on dark desires, fetishisms and subconscious dreams. Furthermore, his photography transcends classic gender roles: his models adopt unusual poses and their faces are often left out of frame, obscuring their identity. At times, it is not even clear whether the subject is human or a doll. In order to capture the extravagance of luxury objects, Kooiker magnifies its means of presentation, like for example mannequins and displays, to such a degree that it is ultimately our desire itself that is captured by his camera.

All works in the exhibition are created with an iPhone. At a time when everyone photographs with their smartphone, Paul Kooiker uses precisely this tool to create a parallel world that is apparently detached from it and that cannot be copied. His exhibition, Fashion, at foam brings together a large variety of images from his fashion commissions to create an encompassing installation that works much like a hall of mirrors: it freezes the breakneck speed of the fashion industry and reveals the absurdity of human vanity and desire.