Arno Nollen - Untitled (detail)

Arno Nollen

Netherlands 1964


Arno Nollen
Arno Nollen
May 26, 2017

Unusual and sometimes even shocking portraits of the young girls in their imperfections, with bruises, tattoos, freckles, in see-through clothes or entirely nude, make Dutch photograph Arno Nollen a master in conveying the evocative in otherwise overlooked subjects. His un-styled models, in their uncomfortable age between childhood and adulthood, are not represented as objects, but illustrations of feminine power in everyday life. Nollen’s obsession with girls reveals them in different lights and away from every perspective. They are shy, provocative, innocent, self-assured, naïve, seductive, in fur coats, sexy lingerie, nude, fat, thin, blondes, brunettes, redheads, from the country or the big city.

Arno Nollen - Napels, series
Arno Nollen – Napels, series

Education and Early Success

Nollen graduated from the Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam where he was rewarded with the Esther Kroon for his graduation presentation. He was also nominated for the NPS Culture award. His works have been exhibited internationally and are part of important collections both in The Netherlands and abroad. He creates photographs, photo books and films which represent the colorful collection of young women. His personal obsessions, doubts, aversions and feelings often coincide with those of his subjects. At the beginning of his career, Nollen was primarily interested in portraying insecure girls in their indifference and awkwardness.

Nollen’s work represents the colorful collection of young women

Arno Nollen - Berlin
Arno Nollen – Berlin

Being a Part of Arno Nollen’s World

Portraying these subjects with the look of fragile muses, Nollen provokes the viewer’s ambivalent feeling. He seeks a confrontational way of photographing, going into a comfort zone of his models. Using the repetition and multiple images he makes a series, creating a short stories or books. Aiming to emphasize the differences and similarities, Nollen calls the different sensations, from excitement to tenderness, disapproval and discomfort. His exhibitions tell a visual story with photographs, video films, archive materials, objects and lightning. As soon as the visitor enters the gallery space, he becomes the part of the Arno Nollen’s world.

Using the repetition, he emphasizes the differences and similarities

Arno Nollen - Untitled
Arno Nollen – Untitled

The Collector of Emotions

As he himself admits, he is always involved with girls, especially the young ones because of their body language and facial expressions. He finds their lack of experience something that is interesting to record. Nollen does not abide by any strict method or conceived concept, resisting any kind of rules or ideology. He’s not seeking for the absolute ideal of beauty, but the way to visualize the feelings. Calling himself a collector of emotions, his works evokes a wide emotional range, from intimacy, lust, eroticism and tension, to romanticism, tenderness and vulnerability. His photographs make a mixture of impressions that move between dream and reality, seductive eroticism and innocent nudity, prudency and provocative self-assurance.

The artist is represented by Green Flowers Art Gallery in Boulogne-Billancourt.

Featured image: Arno Nollen – detail of an artwork
All images courtesy of the artist

YearExhibition titleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2017Perfume, a Virgins FutureGreen Flowers Art Gallery, Boulogne-Billancourt, FranceSolo
2016Arno Nollen Gemeentemuseum - fotomuseum Den Haag Solo
2016Arno Nollen Hotel Costes , in cooperation with Green Flowers Art Gallery ,ParisSolo
2016Arno Nollen Bernhard Bischof Galerie, Bern, Zwitserland Solo
2016Arno Nollen Galerie Gabriel Rolt, Amsterdam Book 1104 KD in cooperation with Slanged Advocaten, Hunger for Life, project Mexico Solo
2015Arno Nollen Hôtel Dunkerque,-Frac Nord-Pas de Calais Solo
2015Dicht op de huid - close to the skin Fries museumGroup
2015Unknown Galerie Gabriel Rolt, Amsterdam Group
2014Arno Nollen Printing Museum, Tokyo Solo
2014Door jouw ogen kijken Galerie Gerhard Hofland, Amsterdam Solo
2014Art RotterdamGalery Gerhard Hofland, AmsterdamGroup
2014Amsterdam Ezapp-FF film festival New YorkGroup
2014Nouvelle Génération Frac Nord-Pas-de-Calais, DunkerqueGroup
2013Amsterdam drawing Galerie Gerhard Hofland, AmsterdamGroup
2013Amsterdam Kunst KalenderAmsterdamGroup
2013Unknown Galerie Bernhard Bischoff, BernGroup
2012Arno Nollen Paris Solo
2012Be-part Waregem Solo
2012Arno Nollen Annet Gelink galerie, Amsterdam Solo
2012Arno Nollen Bernhard Bischoff galerie, Bern Solo
2012Slide Luck potshow AmsterdamGroup
2011Analix forever ZurichGroup
2011Art Brussels, art fair Brussels Galerie Jousse Entreprise, Paris Group
2011Art Mexico, art fair Mexico cityGalerie Jousse Entreprise Group
2011Unknown Bernhard Bischoff, Bern Group
2011Pertes et Trouvailles Galerie Jousse Enterprise ParisSolo
2011Fotoboek Costes – Nollen Hotel Costes, ParisSolo
2011Arno Nollen Hotel Costes, ParisSolo

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