Allow me to be honest,i came across Rotterdam-based artist duo Schilte & Portielje only recently yet i was intrigued by the multiplicity of techniques they use and the impressive results they obtain,breaking the boundaries between fashion and art. The exhibition running in Kunsthal Rotterdam feature a great amount of they work,small or big scale photographs made from fragments of photographic material from the digital imagery. The procedure,as described in Kunsthal Rotterdam museum page is impressive: ” Each work is created through a time-consuming process comprising transformation, drawing, painting, adding and removing. The duo also uses a computer as a photographic dark room, and as a drawing and painting tool, in order to create their remarkable dreamworld of bizarre characters.”
The main idea behind Schilte & Portielje’s work is the human body in its simplicity yet forced to appear in unnatural,almost sadomasochistic physical poses or even portrayed as half-human,half-beast. Their dark atmosphere creates a visual world close to surrealism with the difference of excluding all color from their work making the antithesis between the advanced computer technique and the nostalgic feeling expressed by the black and white aspect of their main volume of work. Their unique aesthetics have been featured in national and international magazines including Zoom Magazine, Glamcult, De Morgen, NRC Handelsblad and Modern Times.
The exhibition is accompanied by a book entitled ‘PHOTOWORKS BEYOND REALITY – Volume 2′, published by Voetnoot Publishers. This publication presents almost all of Schilte & Portielje’s work up to and including 2012