Jenny Boot: The Surrealist Photographer
Congratulations as being selected as one of the 100 best upcoming talents in Holland. What an honor. When I first saw your work with Public House of Art a few years ago, I thought I was looking at a hyper realistic painter. Then I looked further to see the portraits were wonderfully whimsical and highly stylized photographs. What is your process when choosing your subjects? What do you look for in a perfect model? Were you in the dark room most of your college days?
Very often, I just get an image in my mind that I see completely before me. It can be so clear that I already know that it will be beautiful. I only have to create all the props and find the right model, which will be the hardest part. But i can also be inspired by the looks and beauty of a model i find on the internet or Facebook and than the process will work the other way around. It is never possible that any model could fit in any image i have in mind. They must have some attraction to me, its more about appearance and if they can express a certain emotion than about being the perfect agency model.
During school, I was mainly engaged in nude photography, at that time my images were much more about myself and my emotions. I needed the models and my images to become aware of it.
You seem to pair unconventional items in your portraits. What makes you use the cigarettes, currency, guns, etc? They add such life and dimension into your work, in my opinion.
Initially, I just wanted to use items that, due to the recurring rhythm, also seemed to be like a real 17th century collar, as the corset (sanitary napkins) and the cigarette collar are also very good lookalikes. I collaborated with Raymond Brekeveld a stylist/artist. He made the cigarette collar and a few others. Later the collars became a meaning of expressing me more than just the form. The pistols are about revenge and aggression, the hard side of life. The tampons are about the emotions I go through monthly and how hormones determine who I am, I hate that! The money is about how money affects me in my art as well, if money is the goal, creativity is paying the price. So they have become a major trigger in addition to the beauty of the model.
Do you remember the first photo you took? What was it of and what did it look like?
No, not really, as a child I had a camera of the fair but everything failed. When I started shooting seriously, my inner child was soon subjected to my subject and I made self-portraits. I think I have developed a lot in expression at that time.
I know you are equally as talented in doing nudes, family portraits, etc. as you are in your creative portraits but what is your favorite subject to photograph and why?
I really love making portraits and especially of beautiful girls. There is so much beauty and pain in young girls where they are often completely unaware of themselves. A portrait also makes me come very close to someone that I can read so much in their face. This way I can catch the smallest emotions in her eyes. Perhaps I want to capture immortality and keep eternal youth. I really think I just like to become so close to another that we become one.
If you could collaborate with any artist, who would it be with and why?
Oh that has changed over the years, but now I would say Annie Leibovitz. The way in which she portrays large groups I would like to learn from, the exposure and the glamorous style. But yes, of course, her models are obviously included. I would also like to work with a fashion designer like Alexander McQueen. If I could handle such elaborate clothing in my portraits, it would add a new dimension to my work.
What is next for you?
At the moment, I'm so happy and grateful with what I'm doing in my life right now. I have a new home, my art is exposed all over the world and I hope to get inspired soon for new work. I do not really need to be afraid because I always have a need to create, I feel the urge already. I would love to exhibit in a good museum that would really give me recognition or that a work would be purchased by a museum in the Netherlands.
Where can our readers learn more about both you and your work?
Some publications like Snoecks 2017, hmm... I think its time for some new publications :) , but I think they should visit exhibitions to really see my art and me. On Instagram, you can find me at @jennyboot2 and my site at www.jennyboot.nl/
Models in order of appearance: Eva ZhuLish, Jecinta, Nicole @modelsrockagency and anonymous.