Carmen Freudenthal & Elle Verhagen from The Ravestijn Gallery speaks to PHOTOFAIRS | PHOTOFAIRS

Carmen Freudenthal & Elle Verhagen from The Ravestijn Gallery speaks to PHOTOFAIRS

© Freudenthal:Verhagen, Splash, 2015. Courtesy of The Ravestijn Gallery

Carmen Freudenthal & Elle Verhagen will be exhibited with The Ravestijn Gallery at PHOTOFAIRS | San Francisco in February 2018. Ravestijn Gallery is a Leading gallery from the Netherlands, which is one of the European countries which produces some of the finest young cutting-edge artists working today in photography.

The cutting edge contemporary art fair dedicated to the photographic medium returns to Fort Mason Center in San Francisco from Thursday, February 22nd - Sunday, February 25, 2018. The fair's international focus and boutique curation create an excellent environment to discover and collect innovative works of art, for more information and to purchase your tickets click here.

Hi Carmen & Elle, Can you tell us a bit about how did this collaboration start?

In 1987 we both finished art school. Carmen studied photography, Elle fashion design. Soon after Carmen paid a visit to fashion label Filtenborg in preparation for a photography project. At that time Elle was working there, as a designer. Elle had the aspiration to move into photography and we decided to team up for our first joint project. After working as a photographer/stylist team on several editorial fashion and art projects, we soon discovered we have very much the same taste and mutual ideas, regarding image making. The distinction between our individual roles fainted quickly and we decided to continue as an artist duo. In all stages of the creative process, we bounce the work back and forth, adding and revising, until we are both happy with the result.

You have a very experimental approach to your work, where do your ideas start?

They start with lots of collaged sketches. Initial inspiring images are sometimes found in a book, exhibition, newspaper or on the street and saved as snapshots. Lead by associations, layers are added, resulting in collaged sketches which end up on a bulletin board where they stay long enough to decide which to keep, redo or throw away. Do the sketches tell a mutual story, are they fresh and surprising, can they be developed into aesthetic layered images? If they do we continue...

And where do you see the future of photography going?

For us, photography is a tool and not a goal. A powerful tool, which connects the work with reality. In the future of photography, it will always do that, to some extent. As more artists, not necessarily trained as photographers, start using photographs in their work, the practical boundaries of the medium are becoming more and more faint and, at the same time, the distinction between photography and other art forms is disappearing. P.S. journalism, private snap-shots etc. of course, all have different futures, all going in separate directions.

What are you currently working on?

Fascination for the human body was the starting point in our new work

Photographic images of (parts of) bodies are printed on silk and treated with silicone rubber to preserve, deform, enhance or mask parts of the body and its imperfections. The new work will be on view at the same time in San Francisco and at The Ravestijn Gallery in Amsterdam from Feb 17- March 31, 2018

What excites you about exhibiting in San Francisco?

The melting pot atmosphere in San Francisco is great. We are looking forward to presenting our work against that background and hopefully, we will meet a new international audience.

The Ravestijn Gallery