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Andrew Valkenburg

homephotoI wandered into the Photography Department and Andrew Valkenburg when I was a “guest” of the Image and Sound Department upstairs from it.  I needed a favor and when Andrew offered to deliver one, I offered to pose for him.  We became friends a few weeks later when I came to deliver my end of the bargain, unlike the other art chicks who offered and disappeared.  He told me I photographed a bit like a mannequin as consequence of my face being perfectly symmetrical.  I kind of hated him for the comment, but I was used to the Dutch penchant for saying whatever they felt was true without sugar coating.  I’m surprised they detect as much autism as they do and treat in the Netherlands because they’re so direct it’s often difficult to tell………

The first challenge I presented was creating “dark” images of myself.  I told Andrew that I wanted to work with “dark” images.  At a glance, this may look like subtle lighting, but if you take a few steps away from it, you’ll see that it’s actually a sculpted silhouette with depth photographed in extremely accurate lighting.  We successfully worked through this challenge on many levels and via several shoots.  The iconic images I believe best represent me began as Andrew’s creations.  I wanted to create a silhouette of me that was descriptive, like the shadows I work with.  For me, his work with me is an evolution on how I craft shadows from paper.