woensdag 21 september 2011
On September 13th, a German newspaper called "Grafschaftlicher Nachrichten
(Tageszeitung für den Landkreis Grafschaft Bentheim)" carried this nice article
by reporter / photographer Judith Tolomello about the opening of my exhibition
at Friedag Augenoptik in Nordhorn. A rough translation goes as follows:
"Enchantresses" with visual aids
Dutch artist Rob van Dijk portrays women with glasses
"In my school days I wanted to become an optician". Rob van Dijk remembers
it well. "But after the final examination there was this father - son talk". It ended
with the father's decision that the son had to go to university instead. The dream
of being an optician was far behind the horizon. Over four decades later, the
schoolboy of the day is standing in the town centre of Nordhorn, indulging his
childhood dream in his own individual, special way.
During all those years, Rob van Dijk collected ladies glasses. "One each week -
there are some 2000 pieces now", the Dutchman tells. A few years back his
hobby was broadened by adding portrait photography. But Van Dijk does not
settle for classic motives. Instead, he tries to show the world his view on society:
the beauty of women in glasses.
He now has a weblog on the internet, in which he publishes his portraits. He is
not just engaged in his art but also in the Third World: "I don't collect just for
myself. I also send glasses from my collection to those people".
The "glasses artist" is steadily gaining recognition for his work. The owner of
Friedag Opticians, whose premises are used by Rob van Dijk this day, is
impressed. "I have never experienced someone trying to bring forward very
strong glasses in such a positive way", Manfred Friedag tells us. Michael
Kolley who runs the Friedag shop, was a sceptic at first, but the Dutchman
convinced him fast with his cordial ways. Van Dijk succeeds in making other
people enthousiastic about his work, mainly by his own enthousiasm.
The artist is accompanied by four models for the small photo shoot in Nordhorn.
He portrays them for his weblog. One of the four ladies is his life partner Nel.
His photo shoots of ladies in prescription glasses started with her, a couple of
years ago. "She needs to wear quite strong glasses, Rx -11", he explains. But
in his eyes, Nel looks gorgeous, especially in glasses. The self confident models
put a spell on the spectators and it does not take them long to show that heavy
glasses are fashion accesories indeed.
For Rob van Dijk, the glasses are even more than that. When asked about his
motives to live his hobby, the sympathetic Dutchman tells us about his late
grandmother. "In my eyes, she was a magician". She was able to push the
world away from her by putting on her glasses for long distance, and she
managed pulling the world towards her by putting up her reading glasses.
That's what Rob thought when he was a small child. But then he looked
around him in the streets and he soon realized that the world was full of
female magicians. His fascination with women in glasses remains till this day.
"The models performing in a catwalk on the red carpet in front of the
camera of the artist who portrays the ladies for his weblog"
"The four models of artist Rob van Dijk are wearing only a tiny fraction
of his giant collection of 2000 glasses from many different decades"
maandag 19 september 2011
This extraordinary, mysterious portrait of lovely Melissa in blended myodiscs concludes her photo shoot.
Readers with a scientific background, be prepared for a shock. There is proof that the "perpetuum mobile" is not a theoretical concept or a phantasy. It really exists and it's called Melissa.
A future scholar, a bass player in an all ladies rock band, a top model doing 100 photo shoots each year - it made me wonder, does this young lady ever sleep, and if so, how many hours has
the average Melissa day?
Melissa, it was my privilege and honour to work with you! All your posing is done with great confidence and ease, consistent yet achieving a beautiful variety - just dripping good looks, from
the start until the very end. I was especially impressed by your credible, natural looks in myodiscs and other strong glasses. There seemed to be no such thing as time during your photo shoot. You have a unique ability to make time stand still. Perhaps that's the receipt behind your "perpetuum mobile".
Experience, motivation, imaginative power and a natural talent for posing seem to be the cornerstones under your achievement. You managed to transform yourself with each new pair of glasses without losing your own unique identity. A real ambassador for eyewear and a joy to work with. It's a pity that I only discovered you starring in the Sander van Doorn video clip "Love is darkness" (1,4 million views) after our photo shoot. Melissa, you rock! If it ever comes to making a video clip of my song "Crystal Veil", I'll be knocking on your door :).
I don't compare the merits of models - there is no point - but it's safe to say that you set a new standard on this weblog. "Planet Myopia" Stephan, whose work was highly inspirational to me when I started my own project, put it like this: "You found the GLASSES FACE ever".
Melissa, I hope that we can work again in the future! In the meantime I wish you all the best with your umpteen other projects.
Hat off for this lovely, multitalented 31st Lady behind Crystal Veil!
zondag 18 september 2011
The first time I saw images like these was in a television
studio, about a year ago. The media showed a surprising
amount of interest in my exhibition at the culture centre "De
Vrijhof" in Enschede and it was quite enjoyable. RTV Oost
invited me in a talk show called "En dan nog even dit...." and
they asked me - at the very last moment - to bring along some
glasses from my collection. There was no time to select the
most suitable glasses so I grabbed a box filled with glasses
from a photo shoot with my model Marleen at lunchtime....
Marleen had posed in very strong glasses and you should have
seen the glassy eyes when I unpacked the box in the television
studio. Interviewer Carrie ten Napel is a very spontaneous young
lady and she put on four different pairs from the box, including
these blended myodiscs from Germany. When Carrie moved her
head, I noticed the weird effects of the studio lights in the Lentilux
The weather was overcast during the photo shoot with Melissa so
the flash bulb in my camera started working. I decided to take the
gamble and see if some of the effects at the television interview
would come out. The results were even better than expected and
that's why this glorious photo shoot with Melissa ends with these
Experience, motivation and imaginative power - the key
factors behind a tremendous photo shoot. Melissa has
all these properties in glorious plenty. Again, she looks
stunning in the Zenni myodiscs. There is no way of telling
that the glasses are seventeen diopters above her own mild
prescription. Enough narrative for now, once more I give
the floor to Melissa!
These beautiful myodiscs by Zenni were first shown by
Clarine, near the start of my previous weblog, and even
though my weblogs have over half a million page views now,
her portrait remains number one in page views. Over a dozen
models posed in the Zenni myodiscs since and the results are
always beautiful. Here Melissa joins their ranks in her own
vrijdag 16 september 2011
A beautiful portrait of Melissa in another pair of blended
myodiscs from Germany, made by Nigura in the early or
mid 1990's. The discrete frame is ideally suited for lenses
with extreme prescriptions. Note the natural, credible look
produced by Melissa - you'd swear that these are her own
glasses. In reality, the Rx of these myodiscs is 17 diopters
above her own mild prescription. Hat off for Melissa!
"You've got this strange effect on me, but I like it...."
These lines were written by Ray Davies from the Kinks
in 1965 and subsequently recorded by singer Dave Berry
who hit the top of the charts in Holland with Davies' song.
A short while later, Berry paid a visit to Amsterdam and
the big Museumplein was filled with fans, waiting to see him.
It took me an hour to get out of that crowd with my bike.
A canal trip in a boat - done by the Beatles in the preceding
year - would have been more convenient for the Berry fans.
The song line ran into my head when I first saw this picture
of Melissa in the Trend myodiscs.
These Trend myodiscs were used in five previous photo
shoots on my first weblog (Astrid, Conny, Farishta, Nanda
and Petra) and a portrait of Nanda was part of last year's
exhibition in Enschede and my current exhibition in Nordhorn.
Note the double image of Melissa's left eye, in the bowl and
in the surrounding carrier lens. The weird thing is that both
images seem to be connected here. An effect which I never
witnessed before. There is a first time for everything....
Melissa is a highly experienced model and she told me that
she does about 100 photo shoots in a year. My expectations
for this photo shoot were high, but I was not prepared for
such consistent, gorgeous posing, even in the strongest glasses.
Equally important is that one could never tell that these are not
her own glasses and that the lenses are some 13 diopters above
her own mild prescription. The posing is very credible indeed.
Enough talking for now - I will leave you in the pleasant company
of Melissa and her wonderful posing in 1980 Rodenstock glasses.