To keep myself fresh on my photographer knowledge, I’m going to start doing “Photographer of the Day” posts. If I tell you guys about these photographers, odds are I’ll remember them more readily when the time calls for information about them and their work.
So here we go.
b. 1951, Amsterdam
To begin, Aarsman was a part of a movement called New Topography, which was founded on the idea of photographing new-but-not-new landscapes, circa 1980s and 90s. They worked to create landscapes that included the ordinary, everyday objects that normally go unnoticed, like perhaps a stop sign on a street corner. The “great” landscape photographers of the early-ish 20th century (y’all know about Ansel Adams,) showed the United States what lied out west, and so because of their images National Parks and other attractions for tourism were put in place. The New Topographers, wanting to create their own beautiful landscapes, but found that their work would be hindered by a car, or a parking lot, or anything that we see everyday but pay no mind to. They decided, why not make these ordinary objects just as important as the landscape? So they did. They brought attention to things that are normally ignored or not thought about in an objective style.
Hans Aarsman’s photography falls into this movement. His most notable body of work, Hollandse Taferelen, focuses on the transient moments of ordinary becoming extraordinary in the Dutch countryside. Here are some images from that project:
See what I mean about transient?
Aarsman is still with us today, and he is an author, a lecturer at Rijksakademie in Amsterdam, and a playwright, in addition to being a photographer. Follow his example kids, he’s what we call a “go-getter.”
The next photographer of the day will be Bayard Hippolyte, so keep an eye out!