A maverick with a Sunday child’s charisma, Amsterdam-based Sander Dekker (b. 1980) is an unconventional photographer with a remarkable talent to capture magical moments. He can best be described as open-minded and inventive, with the quality of turning unexpected situations into opportunities. He frequently travels for new impulses and treats his surroundings with an accessible attitude and mentality that also apply to his work, in which spontaneity and wild energy are key.
From an early age Sander developed a deep fascination with extravert and outgoing individuals, partly due to his own juvenile insecurities. This admiration is clearly conveyed in his photography. From his late twenties Sander acted as art director in the fashion industry, working for various labels. This turned out to be of pivotal influence to his career, as Sander’s reality merged with one he always considered far away. Being relatively introvert himself, his world gradually started to overlap with that of self-confident and sexual individuals – subject of a budding photographer’s fascination.
From 2011 onwards, Sander went on exploring the autonomous and non-conceptual field of photography. He works with unpolished male and female models, which he selects on distinct facial or raw features – such as androgynous types or edgy and eccentric characters. Admiring his subjects and adapting the role of observer, Sander might be labelled a voyeur as well. However in contrast to filtered photos or perfected shots in today’s fashion or social media, Sander captures his models as they are in reality. Not being perfect nor trying to be, yet they are extraordinarily intriguing and pleasant to look at. It’s the real deal, as his models are autonomous and express their own identity. That is exactly what Sander pursues: to him imperfection reflects personality.
His work, shot with a 33 mm wideangle lens to mimic human eye vision, is highly spontaneous and impromptu in the sense that he often shoots at locations he has never visited before, meeting his models just before the photo session and working from zero concept. Deliberately he doesn’t allow his shoots to last long in order to maintain a certain level of energy, and he interacts to feed his models with crazy ideas. It’s just what’s there and then. Spontaneity and improvisation are therefore crucial, often resulting in surprising crops and spectacular compositions.
Candy for the eye with an appealing aesthetic quality, Sander’s photography is defined by humour, positive energy, and infinite freedom. Using photography as a tool to capture moments created through interaction and synergy, his work can be considered a reflection of his own personality. The beholder is treated with a glimpse into the amazing life of this amiable photographer and it’s an enjoyable experience. One shouldn’t look for any conceptual significance in his work, since there isn’t – unless that would be not to take life too serious. As an autonomous artist Sander has cooperated with national photography museum FOAM in 2012 and he has been represented at numerous art fairs. Besides several group and solo shows in the Netherlands, Sander’s work has been the subject of gallery exhibitions in Germany and the UK. 2015 saw his first book publication (My name is Sander Dekker //1); an 300 copies limited edition hardcover that treats the first episode of this promising photographer’s career.
text: Drs. S.C.A. Rietveld, MA of Arts, 2015
photo: Marie Wanders
10-2016 ‘My name is Sander Dekker’, solo presentation – 30Works gallery / Cologne, DE
10-2015 ‘My name is Sander Dekker’ / Walls Gallery / Amsterdam, NL
01-2014 Loud, wild & Sexy – Galerie Majke Hüsstege / Den Bosch, NL
07-2012 Happy ending – Walls Gallery / Amsterdam, NL → VIDEO
Art fairs (selection)
12-2016 Solo presentation – This Art Fair / Amsterdam, NL
12-2015 This Art Fair with Bright Side Gallery / Amsterdam, NL
09-2015 We Are The Guys X Gustafson / Amsterdam, NL
05-2015 KunstRAI with Walls Gallery / Amsterdam, NL
11-2014 PAN Amsterdam with Galerie Majke Hüsstege / Amsterdam, NL
02-2014 The Great Last Minute Art Fair with Walls Gallery / Rotterdam, NL
02-2013 Art at the Warehouse with Walls Gallery / Rotterdam, NL
01-2013 Realisme Art Fair with Walls Gallery & Galerie Majke Hüsstege / Amsterdam, NL
04-2017 6voor6 Art Fair – Torch gallery / Amsterdam, NL
09-2016 Group exhibition– Bright Side Gallery / Amsterdam, NL
01-2016 Welcome to the Bright Side – Bright Side Gallery / Amsterdam, NL
06-2015 Death and Sexuality – Schau Fenster Gallery / Berlin, DE
03-2015 Death and Sexuality – FB69 gallery / Münster, DE
01-2015 The Big Photo Show III - Walls Gallery / Amsterdam, NL
10-2014 Odds and Evens – Walls Gallery / Amsterdam, NL
03-2014 The Big Photo Show II - Walls Gallery / Amsterdam, NL
10-2013 Flaxon Ptootch / London, UK
01-2013 The big photo show I – Walls Gallery / Amsterdam, NL
08-2012 Keep on dreaming / Walls Gallery / Amsterdam, NL
05-2012 Artistic Affairs / Walls Gallery / Amsterdam, NL
Special projects (selection)
09-2016 Stitch Group exhibition – OFFF by night / Antwerp, BE
09-2013 Nuit Blanche / Amsterdam, NL
07-2013 Photo town by FOAM / Amsterdam, NL
06-2013 Huize Frankendael / Amsterdam, NL
06-2013 Photo town by FOAM / kick-off / Amsterdam, NL
04-2013 Pop up window Red light district / Amsterdam, NL
10-2012 ShortCut- FOAM / Amsterdam, NL
My name is Sander Dekker 1.5 / (ISBN 9789082111323)
My name is Sander Dekker 1 / limited edition of 300 copies (ISBN 9789082111316)
Brabants Dagblad (27-01-2014)
DJ broadcast magazine
Hoop Doop magazine
Le Petit Voyeur
Self Control magazine
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