‘Appearances are deceptive, nothing is what it seems.’
Bart van Leeuwen ( Amsterdam,1950 ), born in an artistic family of musicians and painters, published his first pictures in Dutch underground magazines Hitweek and Gandalf in 1967. He graduated from the University for Applied Photography in The Hague in 1969 and started to work as a freelance photographer in 1971. Inspired by Film Noir, Italian Neorealism and photographers such as Avedon, Bourdin, Brassaï, Frank, Lartigue, Munkacsi, Newton, and Penn he developed a narrative, cinematographic style, linking facts and fiction.
‘Fashion photography is more than taking pictures of dresses. Because fashion not only refers to style of dress or hair and make-up. It also includes art, language, cuisine, literature, architecture, music and even the thinking, popular in a culture at any given time. Zeitgeist. Omnipresent, constantly changing, reflecting time.’
He travelled the world for magazines like Avenue, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Elegance, Esquire, Harper’s Bazaar, Holland Herald, i-D, Kult, Marie-Claire, Playboy, Sunday Times and Wallpaper, and companies such as ABN, Agnès B, Barclays, Bilderberg, Bijenkorf, CBS, Fiorucci, Harrods, ING, Levi’s, Matinique, Philips, RCA, René Lezard, Sara Lee, Volvo and Woolmark, shooting fashion stories, advertising campaigns and portraits.
Andy Warhol, Bob Geldof, Candy Dulfer, Carice van Houten, Dizzy Gillespie, Freddy Mercury, Giorgio Armani, Grace Jones, Herman Brood, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Jerry Hall, John Cale, Mark Reilly, Mathilde Willink, Nina Hagen and Sylvia Kristel are among the celebrities he photographed.
‘Fashion photography itself has its fashions. I always tried to avoid these ever changing trends by including a timeless, universal human element in my pictures.’
He has won several awards ( ADCN i.a. ) and gave lectures on photography at art-academies in Amsterdam ( Rietveld ), Rotterdam ( WdKA ), Bruxelles ( St. Lukas ) and Falmouth ( Falmouth University, UK ).
Van Leeuwen lived in Amsterdam, New York and Paris.
Due to a neuromuscular disorder he retired in 2005 and now lives with his wife and son just outside Amsterdam.
Books, interviews & other publications:
Mathilde, Muse, Myth, Mystery. Lisette de Zoete, pgs. 142-145, Lecturis, 2016
Nothing is Real, Fact and Photography, Brave New Books, 2015
Everything but Clothes, José Teunissen, Jhim Lamorée, Terra Lannoo, 2015
APF Magazine Hong Kong, pgs. 45-56, Oct. 2013
Aesthetica Magazine GB, Historic Lifesyles pg. 35, Sept.-Oct. 2013
Framed in Print, Janna Laeven, NRC Next, 10/10/2013
Gup 38, 40 Years of Dutch Magazine Photography, 2013
Pf Magazine 3, pgs. 30-34, 2013
Fotofolio – 40 Years of Dutch Magazine Photography, Lecturis, 2013
Fashion Photography in the Netherlands, Irma v. Bommel, pgs. 73-74, 2012
Avro’s Kunstuur TV, Charlotte Ebers, Art 2 Read, 16/06/2012
NTR Kunststof Radio, Petra Possel, 06/06/2012
Vrij Nederland 21, Rudie Kagie, pgs. 20-26, 2012
Vogue NL 2, Fiona Hering, pgs. 164-171, 2012
Focus 6, pgs. 20-21, 2012
Nabelichting, Autobiography, Brainbooks 2012
Luxor Episodes, Jan Damen, 2009
IM, Gusta Winnubst, pg. 58, 2008
Photo Digital 04, pgs. 6-7, 2008
Punt, 65 Photographers for Hans van Blommestein, 2008
Avenue A-Z, Georgette Koning, NRC Handelsblad, 2006
Avenue A-Z, Nederlands Fotomuseum, pgs. 117-122, 2006
Tableau, Fine Arts Magazine 3, pg. 96, 2004
F.D.Stijl, Frederique Huygen, pg. 20, 2002
Tros 2Vandaag TV, Passie voor Pose, 11/2002
Residence, Marieke van Gessel, pgs. 76-81, 2002
Creative Red Book 1999/2000
Art View, pg. 77, 1999
Haute Culture, Mary Hessing, Gisela Prager, 1998
Beeldspraak, Ton Hendriks, 1995
Candy Dulfer, Joep Kock, 1994
Focus 5, pg. 23, 1991
Eye to Eye, Henk Gerritsen, 1991
The Decisive Image, Ingeborg Leijerzapf, 1991
Nieuws Tribune 40, Lenie Stockmann, pg. 51, 1990
Modus, Pauline Terreehorst, 1990
Focus 10, pg. 43, 1989