Conceptual / documentary photographer Anne Barlinckhoff is a young, raw and energetic talent based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. For her latest series she worked together with one of my favourite and most elusive street artists in Amsterdam: Laser 3.14. The poetic writings of Laser are to be found all over the city and his solo-shows never cease to amaze. But even though he’s very present in Amsterdam, few get to know Laser’s true face. This forces most people to form their opinion sole over his work and a few ‘anonymous’ interviews he has done. Anne Barlinckhoff has been impressed by his work before and decided to Approach Laser to shoot some pictures together, which turned out to be a gorgeous series which looks personal, but in fact is just as elusive as the man himself!
Anne: I see Laser’s work all over town. The quotes made me curious about the man behind the work. After a while I thought ‘fuck it’, I’ll send him a message. I sent him the message ‘shall we get creative together soon?’ and that’s how this project came to be, in collaboration with Mark Chalmers from the garage.
I’ve got love for good creativity on the streets anyway. But next to that I also find the interaction with the artist to be very interesting. I always want to take it a step further than everyone else, searching for a story behind the person; ‘I love to photograph people I love’. I always come to a sort of understanding with the people I photograph and try to give a feeling of trust so I can get the most out of it. That is what I try and convert to creativity for a photograph. But also the spontaneous things are important. I always start out with a vague idea and when everything is in process I flood with ideas and things happened that I never could’ve put on paper in advance. I love to work with the things I see around me. Especially photographing the simple things in such a way they become interesting. I wanted to photograph Laser exactly in such a way; attention for his work, but above all the spontaneous ideas that came to be between us during shooting. Portray him by the surroundings, letting it be mysterious.
“Trying to get people to think they know a lot more, but actually they don’t. It’s still a secret. The photographs are a secret about a secret. It tells a story, but leaves also something for your imagination.”
Laser 3.14: Anne came to me with the proposal. I knew about her work through Facebook and love what she makes. There’s something so recognizable but extraordinary about her work. I saw beautiful ideas that seemed to have sprung up spontaneous, on the spot. I like it when you don’t have to work in a restrictive frame and incorporate what is available at that moment on the spot.
Together with Mark Chalmers from the Garage I listened to her proposals and ideas, and her ideas were very interesting to me. She wanted to show something of me, without giving too much away. I don’t just let people enter my private world, purely because I want my work to speak for me. Anne found a beautiful way to convert this to her art, which I found to be really interesting. I let her do her magic and the images turned out to be amazing.