Hellen Van Meene

Hellen Van Meene is an art photographer who makes primarily portraits of young people. Using mostly young girls, she creates dream like portrait studies in their own individual environment. In her latest book Tout va disparaître, she features some of her other photographs on the subject of still life and panoramic scenes.

She was born in 1972 in Alkmaar The Netherlands. She attended Gerrit Rietveld Academie of Photography in Amsterdam from 1992-1996. She also did a year in 1995 at The College of Art in Edinburgh, Scotland. She currently lives in Heiloo, The Netherlands.

Van Meene shoots primarily on site chosing to capture the essence of the environment rather than in a studio. In her portrait studies she makes use of mute lighting creating mood between melancholic and an atmosphere of departure. Her photos use only available light avoiding the use of flashes, light bulbs, or reflectors.

Van Meene started making photos on plastic snapshot camera. She advises aspiring photographers to learn to understand color in the dark room as she did or in Photoshop. She believes that this is what has helped her to see the world as a photographer. Not so much the hardware, film, or settings that one uses.

She was nominated for the Citibank Private Bank Photography Prize in 2001 and won the Charlotte Köhlerprijs in 1999 and the Startstipendium in 1998. Since 1998 she has had numerous exhibitions around the world. A total of 40 solo and 70 group exhibitions as of 2010. She has had a total of 32 publications of her work and collections at major universities and museums in America and Europe such as The Brooklyn Museum of Fine Art, The Chicago Art Institute, Guggenheim Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and Victoria & Albert Museum. Such success has allowed her to make a rather successful living solely on her art.

To see more of her work visit http://hellenvanmeene.com/ and http://www.yanceyrichardson.com/artists/hellen-van-meene/index.html

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