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Atze Haytsma (1929)

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Born in Amersfoort this little known photographer is still working.

Haytsma has become known for his nude photography in which he shapes the body into almost abstract forms. Inspired by the greats of all nude photographers like Bill Brandt and Lucien Clergue, his nudes are almost always made in a studio setting.

The difference is therefore the way light in the photograph is used . He can set up his studio lights in a way that is never possible when photographing outside. Personally i prefer the natural light of the outside photography, but that does not mean that i am not attracted to the photographs of Haytsma. His photographs still have a quality of their own, making these highly collectable items at a reasonable price. This is an artist to watch whenever an item appears on an online auction site. The ATZE book is available at www.ftn-books.com

Atze Haytsma (1929) was educated to be a sculptor. At fourteen years old he started his professional career as an assistant of Geert Marree, just before the Dutch famine of 1944. After that he studied at the Applied Art School and the State Academy of Expressive Arts. He also learned how to glaze and work with modelling clay in a pottery to finally produce the designs of sculptors such as Bill Couzijn, Carel Kneulman, Marie Andriesse and many others. Basically everything in his life revolves around shape. Where he used to work with stone, he now, because of his age, works only with wax. But it has always been about the shape of a woman’s body.

atze

Photographing women became an essential part of his life. It all began when he started to teach portrait and model moulding. At first he used nude models in the classes, but when the school could no longer afford to pay for the models, Atze started to photograph women and used the pictures as reference material for his students. They posed for him at his home, in the -presence of Atze’s wife, Mieke, who was a painter. First, they were students of the art academy he was teaching at, but by word of mouth the list grew longer through the years.

Around the age of sixty, Atze quit teaching. He then started to create small sculptures. He did this without a model; the female body was imprinted in his head in such a way, that he did not need a model. However, the longing to photograph women remained. Since then, Atze has been working in a pocket-sized attic, with construction lamps as lighting. He started out with two cameras, but soon needed others, because of the use of different lenses. By now he has eight of them, all Mamiya and Rolleiflex cameras, purchased for a small price at the end of the analogue era, when everyone switched to using digital cameras. Twin-lens reflex cameras for a 6 x 6 cm picture size on a 120 mm roll-film. Cameras that should be handled with caution, perfectly suitable for portrait and model photography because of their precision and handy size. Ideal for Atze, who has a soft, modest, almost shy personality. Using a Rolleiflex camera, you look down, into the waist-level finder, indirect, much more pleasant for the model. Instead of piercing, probing eyes she sees a head humbly bowed. The camera, placed on a tripod, is deliberately at about the same height as the top of the sofa bed. Atze does not for a moment want to give the models the feeling he is looking down on them.

The models are amateurs. Just women he met or who were referred to him. He will never ask someone himself, he does not have the courage. Maybe after a second posing session he could ask: ‘Will you come again?’. Sometimes he only speaks to them over the telephone and sees them for the first time when they walk through the door. The first time, they are a bit uneasy and nervous. Atze himself is relaxed, because he has been working with nude models his whole life. Atze always asks new models to come and see his photographs first so they can decide after that. If you feel that you are too fat or not pretty enough, he reassures them. A roll of fat or a skin crease can heavenly divide the body.

Posing for the first time the woman sits uncertainly on the corner of the sofa bed. ‘Just let yourself fall on the sofa,’ is Atze’s friendly advice. Followed by: ‘Beautiful, keep it like that’. That is how it starts and it doesn’t get more complicated then: ‘Can you turn around’, ‘Stretch a little more’ or ‘Can you crouch’. Photographs improve when a woman is aware of her body. He wants to give as few directions as possible, because it is all about interaction. A few words suffice.

He always photographs his women naked. Atze sees clothing as a kind of mask, so he wants his models to take it off. The absence of jewellery and other modern body embellishments make the images look like they could have been taken in the 1930ties.

Atze keeps his sculptures anonymous. Because a face has such a different expression than a body, he keeps the face out of the picture. Sometimes if a model lies in such a way that her eyes are prominent, he asks her to look at the lens and takes a portrait as a present for the model.

The pictures are a mirror image of Atze’s softness and admiration. The women show themselves unrestrainedly, bask in his gaze, let his eyes caress them. It is about surrender and relief. From Atze’s side, it is reverence for a woman’s body. And a kind of eagerness. If it is there, he wants to capture it.

For 25 years Atze has been capturing the tangible in moulding clay, the visible in photography and his thoughts in poetry. Three things that are inseparably linked.

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Aat Veldhoen (1934-2018)

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Art collecting is full of surprises. I started collecting books and art some 50 years ago and in this time I encountered some amazing works of art. I bought only a few and “forgot” to buy many, but I always had an open mind for great techniques. Aat Veldhoen was such an artist. He was arguably the first dutch artist who made his art available for the common people. Selling rotaprints by Jasper Grootveld these “erotic” prints were not appreciated and thought to be pornographic.

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These erotic prints can be considered the same as the Japanese Shunga prints, but with less colour and possible more realistic. Still the technique is stupendous. Lifelike figures making love, not hiding themselves and enjoying each other. Veldhoen became famous for these prints and drawings and during his life eventually was admired for them. Now culminating in a great solo exhibition at Museum Kranenburgh ( https://www.kranenburgh.nl/english/exhibitions-and-activities/aat-veldhoen-art-of-life). Unfortunately coles at this moment because of the Covid-19 virus, but hopefully open again later in June. Seeing these great drawings I have a feeling to compare these with Lucian Freud his works. the human figure in all its glory, not hiding anything.

Why this blog on Veldhoen now. …….Yesterday I met with a client who wanted very much to by the Jan Cremer i had in my collection for over 30 years. We made a deal and I sold him the Cremer. Today he came to fetch it and brought a beautiful drawing by Veldhoen of his former wife KABUL. I was very much impressed with this drawing and I could buy it from the Cremer buyer. So now this drawing is mine and I am still impressed by it. There are not many drawings by Veldhoen. A great many of them were destroyed and cut, but this remains and was in its former private collection for over 30 years. It was bought directly from Veldhoen and his a fitting ” Heijdenrijk” frame which enhance s the drawing. A classic ‘nude pose” of by Kabul makes this a typical Aat Veldhoen drawing.

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Aat Veldhoen (1934 – 2018) lived for and surrounded himself with his art. He worked in his teeming house and studio on Amsterdam’s Wittenburgergracht. The creative urge that underscored his versatile oeuvre, including drawings, etchings, paintings, photos, ceramics and sculptures, remained unwavering to the end.

Desire, love, sex, illness, old age, death

After studying drawing, Veldhoen set about documenting desire, love, sex, illness, old age and death, all with uncompromising zeal and compassion. This exhibition includes work Veldhoen made after suffering a partial paralysis at the age of 69, as well as Polaroids from the Rijksmuseum collection which have never been shown before.

Veldhoen’s exceptional and enduring curiosity for everything human resulted in an intimate, lifelong study of those around him. We see this in Veldhoen’s countless portraits of himself and his family, friends and artists.

Life and art

The works in Aat Veldhoen – Art of Life show remarkable connections with the work of those he knew and encountered. His life and art were inextricably intertwined. The result is a personal and tender view of human existence. Since Veldhoen often portrayed himself, the viewer is no longer the only voyeur.

for more information on the drawing please inquire at ftnbooksandart@gmail.com

 

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Louis Icart (1888-1950)

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Another French Art deco artist to write about is the less famous, but very much intriguing Louis Icart,

He was best known for his drawings of glamorous women—often erotic or mildly humorous in tone—as well as for his depictions of 1920s Paris life. He was born in Toulouse, France in 1888, and began drawing at a young age. In 1907, he moved to Paris and began studying painting, drawing, and printmaking. Influenced by Jean Antoine Watteau, François Boucher, and Jean Honoré Fragonard, he became a major figure of the Art Deco period, with his work surging in popularity in both the United States and Europe throughout the 1920s and 1930s. He also worked as a designer in fashion studios during a time when the industry was undergoing a major change, moving away from the conservatism of the 19th century towards a more progressive simplicity. He died on December 20, 1950, at his home in Paris, France.

www.ftn-books.com has some nice publications on Icart available.

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Ans Hey (1932-2010)

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A typical career of a dutch artist. an artist who has had her share of admirers during her life but who never has reached true “stardom” in the dutch art scene.

This is changing rapidly. Since a few years her works are offered at auction. Affordable auctions which prove that her works are better than average since the auction results pass their estimates by a fair percentage. Ans Hey is foremost a sculptor who loved to work with stone. She sculpted and modelled and polished her stones sculptures until the result reached a level of perfection. Het inspiration was nature and the human body, making these sculptures understandable for practically all/ http://www.ftn-books.com has a nice etching by Ans Hey and of course the very best publication which was acquired recently at a local book market.

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Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669)

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The people who know my taste in art , know also that i am not the greatest fan of Rembrandt his painting.

Technically Rembrandt belonged to the avantgarde of his age, but emotionally he never hit the right spot with me. Still there is one exception for Rembrandt as an artist, ….i admire his etchings. And this is feeling is emphasized since i recently acquired a book totally devoted to his erotic etchings.

rembrandt ertoiques

A french publication from 1978 which is according to my knowledge complete. The etchings are depiceted 1:1 and show exactly why I consider Rembrandt a great etcher. The only diappoint is that pubication is not a facsimile one, but i can still highly recommend it. Other titles on Rembrandt available at http://www.ftn-books.com

 

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Ornela Vorpsi (1968)

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A strange but still highly collectable book is the book by Ornela Vorpsi, an Albanian writer/photographer who’s work i first encountered through a publication which is available at WWW.FTN-BOOKS.COM. An excellent and beautiful publicatioin by SCALO publishers who have a nose for new talented photographers. Photographs which are mysterious and erotic at the same time. Recommended and as said …..collectable.

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Marlene Dumas and the MD publication

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Another blog on Dumas….. an artist i admire very much and who’s name is now settled in the art world as one of the great living contemporay artists. It is important these last few words….. This last sentence shows the appreciation of Dumas worldwide, but still there are institutions like eBay, Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram that are so shortsighted and puritan that they can not recognize a great work of art because it shows some nudity. It is allowed to say and write the most horrible things and even show complete massacres on these sites but a great work of art is removed because it shows a nipple or a womans breast. Unfair for the artist and it shows the puritan nature of those who manage the greatest sites and social network on this earth. So specially for those of you who like myself still admire Marlene Dumas and her great watercolours , here are some examples from her MD publication which was made for her travelling exhibition and showed at MUHKA, Henie Onstad and the Camden Art center. The book is available at http://www.ftn-books.com and lets please keep an open mind on nudity in photographs and paintings.

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Felicien Rops (1833-1898)

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A true artist of the FIN DUS SIECLE. On a peer with Toulouse Lautrec and exercising his art on the edge of society. Where Toulouse Lautrec found his inspiration in cafes and brothels, Rops was more of an erotic caricaturist who was not a great fan of religion and the church. In many cases he offended the church in making drawings with a less pious christ,

but he was a master in drawing and made drawings that had two layers. The first was the masterful drawing, the second underlying layer was its erotic contents.

His drawings were forbidden for a very long time , but nowadays his drawings are recognized as true pieces of art and mainly in Belgium Rops has received many a retrospective exhibition of which some of the publications are available at www.ftn-books.com

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Aat Veldhoen (1934-2018)

Perhaps he wasn’t the greatest dutch artist that ever lived, but still Veldhoen deserves his place in art history . He was the artist who almost “commercially” destroyed himself, by making his prints available for ALL and in someway inventing the multiple for the masses.

He drew his subjects directly on the plate and made rotaprints from these plates. Used cheap papers and sold these prints, which were not signed nor numbered from a cart run by Robert Jasper Grootveld for the extremely small amount of 3 dutch guilders. It meant that with so many works by Veldhoen on the market, his paintings and drawings were not valued as they should be.

Aat Veldhoen was a well known and colorful figure in the dutch art scene and had a 20 year relationship with Hedy d’Ancona, the former minister of Culture from the Netherlands.

 

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Bettina Rheims ( 1958 ) another controversial title

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Here it is…another rarely encountered Bettina Rheims title. It is LES ESPIONNES.

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Published by one of the best photography publishers Gina Kehayoff, it stayed a rather obscure title and was rarely reviewed nor it was ordered by the regular Bookstores. My guess is the editions stayed under 1000 copies of which a few hundred were sold. What becomes of such an edition.? Not sold through the regular sales channels, only a handful loyal collectors who ordered it and certainly no interest by companies to have an imprint with their name on the cover. The reason…it is clear to me ..the subjects are transgenders who posed and were photographed by Bettina Rheims during the process of their transition. This has become one of the most important titles by Bettina Rheims and i was lucky to buy me a small stack of these important photography documents. The book is available through www.ftn-books.com and is still in mint sealed condition.