Sebastiaan Bremer’s ode to the family holiday
The Dutch photographer adds splashes of ink and paint to old family photos
It’s not often that on loading someone’s website we let out a gasp but the first full-page photograph on Sebastiaan Bremer’s did just that. Looking through the long grass somewhere in the mountains colour rises like pollen from a meadow and you can almost hear the feint hum of high summer as a small child peaks through the wild flowers.
Further investigation of Bremer’s site reveals many hand painted or collaged photographs created from portraits. Faces are augmented by complex clusters of dots, while hand-painted chromogenic prints feature nudes and landscapes created with inks and acrylics on c-print.
Amsterdam-born Bremer spent many of his early years reproducing his own photographs in paint but he’s been experimenting with collage and drawing directly onto photographs since 1998 when he was a student at the Skowhegan School of Printing and Sculpture in Maine. He'd moved to America to assist photographers Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin and seek out a wider audience for his work.
To Joy is one of his most colourful series in which he adds even more colour to his own family holiday photographs from 1972. Based on Friedrich Schiller’s poem Ode To Joy, the hand painting, polka-dot patterns and collages create an uplifting and playful feeling of what that summer must have been like for Bremer and his family.
If you like the look of the photographs New York’s Lower East Side Printshop has published limited edition prints from To Joy just in time for Christmas They will be on display and available to buy at the Printshop until February 28, 2013. Prices start at around $2,000.