The intimate portraits of Sofie Middernacht and Maarten Alexander at Ingrid Deuss Gallery
Sofie Middernacht and Maarten Alexander, an artist duo that already made name in the world of fashion photography, now present a personal series. Their current work – 'Vulnerable Dimensions’ – opens on 27 January at Antwerp's Ingrid Deuss Gallery. The series consists of fragile and intimate portraits that insist on more than one look.
'Vulnerable Dimensions' is about choices and the challenges we face when making them. Arranged in a series of four, these portraits highlight the individuality of single subject, but each is slightly different from the next. When the viewer is presented with such similar option, working out which is 'best' is a task with no obvious solution.
The process of judgement is further complicated here because each can only be viewed from a right angle, fading to black if seen from any other perspective. As an arrangement the series is an inverse panopticon, obscured in a way that underlines the fugitive nature in which choices often present themselves.
The vehicle that makes this narrative of choice possible is a technical innovation on the medium. Multiple layers of clear high gloss UV epoxy resin and a final one of black acrylic gloss make the print visible only from a certain perspective. As viewer, you are forced to loo the portrait right in the eye, resulting in a unique, bewildering viewing experience.
Sofie Middernacht I Maarten Alexander
27 January (Opening at 7pm) — 11 March
Ingrid Deuss Gallery
About Sofie Middernacht and Maarten Alexander
Sofie Middernacht and Maarten Alexander joined forces on a creative level, after realizing they had the same desires when it came to photography. The pair's strength is that marriage of conceptual and technical innovation – one which draws on their backgrounds. While their past academic and professional training were an influence, their collaboration is very much rooted in the now and reflects it in surprising ways.
They force themselves to look at each project differently, and work out how to achieve the best visual outcome for their clients’ desires, whilst still focussing on their signature direction. A shared source of inspiration and experience, often leads to the conclusion that less is more when it comes to directing their subjects but leaves them looking for the boundaries to which they can push their commissions. No stone is left unturned, an unlimited variety of media are used to create a specific look for each and every body of work.