It is the year 2017. Crowds of collectors and visitors gather round Casper Faassen’s illusory works at PHOTOFAIRS Shanghai. They move closer to adjust their perspective, for clarity and any indication as to whether what they are viewing is a photograph or infact a hyper-realistic painting. The artist’s work is ambiguous, alluring and entirely up for interpretation...
Fast forward to 2020, where today we present you with an exciting Artist Takeover with Faassen, delving into his creative practice and expertise. Represented by Kahmann Gallery (Amsterdam), Faassen takes his inspiration from Dutch classical painters such as Rembrandt and Steen, adopting similar aesthetics but with a contemporary twist. Evident in his video ‘Making of Moments’ (available to view on his website), the creation of Faassen’s work is clearly a strategic operation. We see the artist balancing studio design with photography and painting whilst simultaneously coordinating his subjects, such as a group of ballet dancers. Thus, truly demonstrating that his practice is multifaceted in nature.
Using beautiful muted tones, Faassen’s photography has recently evolved to meet his interest in asian culture, taking inspiration from Japanese prints, architecture and ceramics. In this Artist Takeover, the artist takes us through his creative journey and projects showcased at the Fair...
“His photographs are built up like paintings with different imaginary and physical layers, giving the viewer a feeling of distance and at the same time a voyeuristic presence”
CF: Hey, this is Casper Faassen, working from Leiden, The Netherlands. Inspired by Rembrandt (also born in Leiden) I began painting at a young age. Some 10 years ago I realized the photos I took as sketches for my paintings were stronger so I started printing. To create distance I use matte materials between me and my subject and printed on transparent mediums. The final layer of craquelure refers to painting, time and decay. The subjects are traditional, also painterly, like this portrait, SAMAA (above).
An important series for me is a very painterly one, the still lifes. Of course my love for Morandi is visible in this series (above). With my photography I can re-collect. I can take photos of what impresses, process them to feel like memories and build my own collection. Again the craquelure refers to time and decay.
I feel my work has a link to Asian aesthetics, transparencies, fleeting images, introspection. I’m drawn to the philosophy of ‘mono no aware’ that refers to the transience of things. Falling blossom, spring passing but with a slight melancholic feel, embracing the moment it is still here.
As I am working with appearing and disappearing, I was very happy with my chance to work with dancers from NDT and the Dutch National Ballet. The cooperation asks for creativity in choreography as I take away the dimension of depth. Normally my work is still but with the dancers I more and more feel the urge to also capture movement. The craquelure refers to the contrast between beauty and decay, time and to oil painting.
My most recent focus is on important collections (below). Museum collections, historical collections, like Von Siebold or objects collected by Rembrandt or Mesdag. I recollect. Add my visual language and make them my own. My first time exhibiting in China was at PHOTOFAIRS Shanghai. It was a great fair and experience and I thank PHOTOFAIRS for giving me this platform to show more.