Andre van Noord – The Bush and Other Stories
As one of the Netherlands’ most famous fashion models, Andre van Noord has lived a peculiar life, traveling round the world, meeting all kinds of people and throwing himself into life at its fullest. Next to his modelling career, Van Noord has been photographing his surroundings for over 30 years, employing old cameras and learning from scratch as an autodidact.
Living a hectic super model’s life makes the subtlety of his photographic works even more surprising: when confronted with Van Noord’s pictures, one is struck by their extreme delicacy. The exhibited series is permeated by a soft melancholy, a kind of surrender to the simplicity of everyday life. The portrayed subjects, varying from family members to landscapes and places, feature as simple ingredients of quotidianity.
Everyday life, however, is embraced in its impurity: it is touched, worn, used by its protagonists, and by Van Noord himself. The presence of self portraits in the series explicits this inhabitance: the actuality captured in the pictures is lived, and carries the traces of an ever present search towards the self.
Chance also plays an important role: the characters in the photographs are never deliberately chosen, but they are the result of coincidence, in tune with the normal course of life. This authentic way of experiencing quotidianity is reflected in the material qualities of the works, which are never completely ‘clean’, but always preserve an irregularity, a spot, a dark mark or a yellowy tone. The surface of the pictures seems used, almost ‘dirtied’ by life, an effect achieved by a specific employment of the camera: Van Noord plays with the technique of double exposure of the camera film, which creates this peculiar effect.
All in all, The Bush and Other Stories offers a walk through the beauty of our ordinary surroundings, which, in their disarming normality, still manage to deliver a spark of poetry.
text by Sara van Bussel
ANDRE VAN NOORD (Zaandam, 1964) is a photographer and one of The Netherland’s most famous super models. Next to his successful modelling career, Van Noord has been cultivating his passion for photography over the last 30 years. Experimenting with analogue cameras, Van Noord developed a keen eye and created a body of work as an impressive self-taught photographer. His work is recognizable for its subtle docility and has been previously exhibited at Gallery Gabriel Rolt (2010), Klerkx Art Agency (2013), Lloyd Hotel & Culturele Ambassade (2017) and Beautiful Distress (2018).