Hans Van der Kamp is a Dutch photographer famous for his provocative nude portraits of both common people and the misfits.
He was born in 1955 in Haarlem, The Netherlands. At age 7 he claimed that he wanted to become a photographer. The origin of his motivation was that he contributed magic powers to the photographer who — in his child’s mind — was magically scraping off thin layers of every person he photographed to reproduce them on paper. The only way to avoid all that voodoo was to stand behind the camera instead of in front of it. He started working in a photo lab at age 18. In the evenings he visited an art academy where photography was still an issue of debate. Was this technique considered to be art or even fine art? These discussions left a huge mark on his early works.
The main inspiration for his work is not so much the work of other photographers. His inspiration lies in the defeats, the victories and the struggle of everyday people. The people he photographs are ordinary people, often selected without looking at their presentation pictures first. Van der Kamp often states that he wants to “deplastify” society, meaning that the bodies shown in his work are natural. Some are overweight, some are too skinny, but they are always strong in their appearance. The many nudes in his work that have often been described as provocative are portraits in his perception. Rarely one will find a photograph made by Van der Kamp where the face of the model is veiled, hidden or simply extracted from the composition.
Van der Kamp currently lives and works in Amsterdam.