Rockers Revisited

Cyclope Invitation

Recently a friend in the US requested photo copies of the Rockers series for a poetry project and I started looking at the sheets with negatives. Most of these images are digitized, but I like to look at the old sheets. The first sheet had a date on it. April, 1977. That is 40 years ago… The tagline of my site reads ‘a collection of over 30 years of photography’ while in fact I am a photographer for more than 40 years. The Rockers series was not my first project. It was the first successful one. Looking at the copy of the invitation above it is obvious that it took me a year to get the series exhibited.

The Rockers series has always been special to me. At first the series bankrupted me. I shot over 600 rolls of film while I was supposed to work for an advertising agency doing product photography. I hated that. The products kept piling up in my studio while I was drawn further into the world of these greasers as I called them, or in my native tongue vetkuiven. The title of the series was altered to accommodate an international public in Brussels. Soon after the exhibit – which left me broke but convinced of the fact that advertising was really not my thing – I was asked to photograph for several magazines.

In 40 years the Rockers created more income than any other series I have produced.

As requested I sent my friend the photo copies and I also digitally remastered the main series of 32 images to print them and put them in a box that went along with the photo copies. I do not know exactly why I did this, but remastering and printing the rockers felt necessary. It was almost like editing the works of a different photographer, although I have to admit that my style of photography has not changed much since 1977. I am still photographing people against a neutral background.

Rockers Box SetI often refer to myself as the most boring photographer on the planet because I never changed my way of working. Despite that my photographs often ignite controversy in many countries. Maybe by printing the Rockers once over I was going to find the reason for my consistent approach to photography. I soon realized it was never ‘all’ about photography. I used to hate the technical stuff and especially working with nasty chemicals – until professional digital photography came around in 2000. I was looking for ways to understand others, mostly people I would never meet in day to day life. Until I reached 30 I photographed mostly men. It was obvious I was looking for my own identity.

After 40 my works became sexually charged and the people I photographed were mostly women. It seems logical now. I never understood much about intimacy. This may very well have been caused by a long period of being sexually abused in a hospital during puberty. Sexuality is or can be the ultimate expression of intimacy. Very old wounds rarely heal completely so expect me to create sexually charged photographs until I die.

Most importantly I now realize that I have to apologize to my art teacher who once taught me that all art is about the person creating it. I laughed at him and told him my work as a photographer was about the people I photographed. I now have to admit he was right and I was wrong.
 

Artundressed, Miami Florida

Miami ArtUndressed

Miami ArtUndressed

On May 18th the ArtUndressed festival kicks off in Miami, Florida. I am participating in the nude art exhibit with three works. Two photographs from the series ‘The Russians Are Coming!’ and one from the WAM series. If you happen to be in the neighborhood, please stop by and make a few snapshots of my work there. I will not be attending and this should not be considered as a political statement. I rarely attend to group exhibits that require a lot of traveling. Shipping the artworks with all the red tape involved is enough stress for me.

A new website

Hansvanderkamp.net

Hansvanderkamp.net

After deactivating my personal account on Facebook I noticed that I lost interest in most other networks too. But I did in fact miss a few things. Such as easily contacting my models and a private way of sharing photographs through the Messenger. I am aware all this can be done through WhatsApp and other products. And last but not least there is always E-mail, but I noticed that a lot of people I work with are so swamped with work related messages that responding can not always be a priority. For some it is even harder to catch up on E-mail using a smart phone.

So, I decided to create my own network for friends and models. I have been working on it for a month now in my spare time. A lot of tweaking needed to be done. The site is fully functional now and I am testing it with a few friends.

First of all, the site is completely secure to protect people who create an account by using the SSL or https protocol. Most of the content is shielded from the general public by a registration system. Registering to the site is free, but accounts are manually activated to keep those away who have no business whatsoever to be an active member of the site.

Furthermore the site is divided into groups. One has to subscribe to a group to get to see its content. A membership request for the group Models Sets will only be activated if you have actually posed for me or if you belong to a small group of trusted friends. This way models can always pick up their photographs on the site without fear of works being distributed on the web without their consent.

There is also a private messaging system which makes it easier for me to separate my own important messages from the pile of mail and app messages I receive through various other channels. Models and friends can create their own profiles and befriend people, much like any regular social network. This network however is microscopically small, despite the many photographs hosted there, and of course it is only about photography.

Two sections however are open to the general public and that is my new portfolio that still needs to be expanded and the news feed. If you have posed for me or if you have been in contact with me over the years feel free to register. So far I have not invited people to join for two reasons: I am not completely certain this will actually work as an efficient way to keep in touch with the people I work with and I only want people in who really care for my work. In other words; I want to keep this site as exclusive as I possibly can. I am not aiming for lots of traffic.

The site you are looking at right now will stay my main site for quite some time and I will keep updating it, but please have a look at the new site too: https://hansvanderkamp.net.
 

A sad week

The Russians Are Coming!

I love Russia, or better I love the Russians. I have very little to state about the Russian government. To me it is a government like any other, maybe corrupt, but certainly not as corrupt as many other countries with the USA topping the list of dubious regimes.

It was a sad week. The cover model Evgenia for the new series I am working at called ‘The Russians Are Coming’ – which is basically a satirical approach to the many news items of the last few months blaming the Russians for just about everything – died of a heart attack on her 25th birthday, most probably caused by bad drugs, an overdose or even suicide.

It broke my heart. I was working hard at Moscow’s Sunlight Studios, so the models were lined up behind me. When it was her turn to be photographed I looked over my shoulder and I immediately felt that something was wrong. At first I thought it was her age, because she seemed so young and fragile to me, so I asked for her passport. She was 24. It is not uncommon for models to be skinny and fragile, but that eery feeling stayed with me during the entire shoot. She turned out to be the best model I worked with for a long time. The result of the shoot was a series of great photographs. I picked one for the folder to be printed for the Kriebels exhibit at Ahoy Rotterdam.

When I returned from Rotterdam I was told she had died on her 25th birthday. Since then I have not been myself. In a blind rage over some demanding models and a highly talented filmer with a total lack of social skills I deactivated my Facebook account and moved to VK, the Russian equivalent of Facebook, a social network without advertising and a very tolerant attitude towards nudity in photographs.

It is that time of the year when we burn a lot of candles and we will be burning them for Evgenia. She will be sorely missed.
 

Moscow

tsjeka

tsjeka
While organizing a trip to Amsterdam for my old friend Alexander Donskoy who facilitated my first exhibit in Moscow, he unexpectedly asked me how much time I could free up for him. I hesitated, but he persisted and I answered two weeks, not knowing he was going to invite me to Moscow. It was a present for something I had done for him that I would have done for any of my friends. To be precise, I had no real clue what I could have done for him that was important enough to receive such a gift, so at first I refused.

During my previous visit to Moscow Alexander and his crew noticed that I smoked like Brezhnev and drank Vodka like Boris Yeltsin. Also my political ideas where a bit to the left of theirs. It must have been a funny sight, me drinking vodka and chain smoking, while they were all non-smokers and drinking water or Starbucks coffee. I was living up to the worst of Western prejudices against Russians, while they were perfect global citizens.

This must have been at the root of their decision to surprise me at the airport with a traditional Russian ceremony, a Soviet hat and a vintage Чайка Limousine – the kind that Soviet leaders used – waiting for me to escort me to Moscow’s Business Center. It turned out to be the best two weeks I had in a long, long time and of course I did a lot of photography there too and I will be posting a selection of these works soon.
 

KamaSutrA Festival

KamaSutra Festival

KamaSutra Festival

At first we were a bit reluctant to participate in The KamaSutrA Festival in Utrecht. We imagined the event to be all about vibrators, piercings, sex toys, pole dancing etc.

This was also the reason we hesitated just having an exhibit with photographs at the KamaSutra Festival. However, as we were once again invited to participate the idea came up to have a full photo studio setup and to invite people from the audience to be photographed. Short photo sessions, but done with the same quality equipment we would use in our own studio.

Our biggest fear was that people would not be willing to be photographed in front of a crowd of people visiting the event, but this turned out to be a very pessimistic thought, because we photographed hundreds of people during the three days of the Festival. Actually we are still editing the photos made during the three days of the festival.

So far, the results of Day One and Day Two photo shoots have been sent out to the people photographed, but photos taken at Day Three are still being edited and we hope to send them out before we leave for a photographic journey to Moscow, Kazan and Petersburg on October 20th.

Our participation turned out to be such a success that you will also find us in the Ahoy Rotterdam with a similar setup for the ‘Kriebels‘ event. We sincerely hope to see you there too!


Special Thanks go to our Dream Team: Leonie van Carl and Bára Queenbee. And of course to our sponsors The Kinky Web and ArtCrazed.com.


Hans van der Kamp Photography at KamaSutrA Festival

Hans van der Kamp

Hans van der Kamp Photography at KamaSutrA Festival

On September 30 the KamaSutrA Festival kicks off and an ArtCrazed crew will be there to promote Hans van der Kamp Photographs and The Kinky Web.

A complete mobile photo studio has been built, so that visitors can be photographed by master photographer Hans van der Kamp at the festival. A video will be played with ‘behind the scenes’ footage of actual photo shoots at the Amsterdam studio.

Van der Kamp is strongly connected to The Kinky Web through photographs, drawings and text and with the help of ArtCrazed he will also promote The Kinky Web with a brand new poster showcasing one of his best works and plenty full colour folders for those of you who still need to be introduced to The Kinky Web and Van der Kamp’s work.

For more information visit the KamaSutrA Erotic Festival site.

The festival will be open for visitors on September 30, October 1 and 2. Opening hours: Fri: 15:00PM – 01:00 AM / Sat: 12:00AM – 01:00AM – Sun: 15:00PM – 21:00PM

We hope to see you there!

The KamaSutrA Erotic Festival is located at the Jaarbeurs Hallen in Utrecht, Hall 1. How to get there? We strongly advise visitors to come by public transport but if you decide to use your own transport, here is your itinerary:
 

KamaSutrA Erotic Festival
Jaarbeursplein 6, Hall 1
3521AL Utrecht
Phone: +31302955911