“Be born, grow up, develop and express oneself, love, suffer and die. This is a major drive in my work.” So says Dutch photographer Koos Breukel of his painting-like portraits. Reminiscent of the Dutch portrait paintings of the 17th century, Breukel’s simple, direct presentation—unlike that of the more formal portraiture of that age—is arresting in its simplicity and humility.
Breukel shoots in his own studio with a wooden, large-format camera. His subjects are shot in front of a dark backdrop, allowing the focus to rest solely on the face of the subject. While there is a non-verbal narrative in their direct gaze, Breukel allows the subject’s story to be told without adding any personal commentary of his own.
Feature Shoot Contributing Editor Carolyn Rauch is a Photo Editor.