Conceptueel gedreven en graag de realiteit verdraaien – we praten met fotograaf en art director Marloes Haarmansjuli 27, 2020
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This highly developed and pre-planned outlook on photography means she’s able to toy with perception. Describing her aesthetic, Marloes says it’s this blend of intelligence and layer-building that she strives for; Marloes makes work that “leaves space for imagination” and that which holds a strong concept and narrative. It’s true that her work comes across as an intuitively smart process and endeavour, as each piece sees a mindful warping of reality that asks more questions than it does answer them. But one thing’s certain and that is how Marloes comes from a conceptually driven background, so of course her portfolio is going to present an array of theoretically driven ideas.
Viewing photography and art direction as two complementary mediums, Marloes goes on to explain how they are in “need of each other – there needs to be a ‘smart’ twist”. This can be achieved by approaching the project at hand through metaphor; Marloes likens her creative process to catching a fish in the big ocean. “Being highly perfectionistic, I am not easily satisfied,” she says. “Plus, in my work I will always strive for uniqueness and originality, which is one of the most important aspects in the end of my brainstorm process and my key point in making work.”
Flouting the typical and oversaturated landscape of art, Marloes hopes that her work will present something fresh, imaginative, fantastical and something filled with unconscious decisions. By doing so, she uses familiar objects and products, and then morphs them into an “anti-reality”. An example that she points out is a collaboration with Crocs last year, for a campaign called Crocs Out of the Box – a “dream brief” with “ultimate creative freedom”. Taking apart the old silhouette, its solid colour palette, the signature holes and foam, Marloes played with what we know – in turn twisting them into other possibilities, comprising a series of sculptures and installations embodying what she could be or, mostly, her “Crocs fantasy”. Elsewhere, she made a series for the Dutch Volkskrant Magazine, that saw her put together a guide on how to create domestic DIY sex machines that you can make at home. “Again, a dream brief where I’m involved in all the aspects”, including the ideation, concept building, art direction, set design, props and photography.
Above all, Marloes refers to her mind as a “creative motor running, which needs a bit of oil everyday to keep ideas pumping”. Diagnosed with ADHD and “pretty” hyperactive, rather than viewing this as a negative she instead sees this as a gift. “My inspiration comes from everyday life, living through life is always inspiring,” she concludes. “The imperfections, the mistakes, the oddness, the weirdness, and even more, the normal-ness – or what we perceive as ‘normal’. Everything holds a space for a concept.”