Her name may not be familiar to the general public, but some of her images are much more so. Starting with the cover of Beyoncé’s Renaissance album and the shots of Bella Hadid as an android for Heaven by Marc Jacobs.
This Dutch-born, Paris-based visual storyteller quickly caught the eye of the industry. Her expressive, creative and quirky touch draws on shades of surrealism and the imagery of the 1980s and 1990s.
Merging styles and stepping out of her comfort zone are the credo of this former photography graduate from the Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam. In 2021, the thirty-year-old published her first monograph, Mannequins (Art Paper Editions), in which window figurines imitate the gestures and facial expressions of fashion.
In September 2023, she published Eyes (Note Note Éditions), a fascinating organ that gives rise to as many stories as representations. This publication is now accompanied by her first solo exhibition. The Foam Gallery in Amsterdam is honouring her with Sleeping Beauty, presented as “an invitation to a fairytale in the subconscious”.
Here, her creative visions push back the boundaries of her aesthetic, exploring artificial intelligence as “still images from a strangely attractive nightmare”. This is the singularity of Carlijn Jacobs’ portfolio, which in just a few years has collaborated with a host of magazines (Vogue, AnOther Magazine, Dazed, Pop, M Le Monde, D la Repubblica) and brands (Acne Studios, Chanel, Gucci, Louis Vuitton).
The works presented at the Amsterdam venue combine her commissioned work with more personal shots.
Here she makes room for the importance she attaches to costumes and disguises within cultures, such as those of the Japanese geishas, the Venetian carnival and today’s fashion scene. She also explores the notion of the mask. “I’m fascinated by this idea. You hide behind an accessory and you can become someone else,” she explains, “The world of fashion is in fact a form of escape: you create a new character. Changing your look and combining the existing with the non-existent are fundamental components in my work: ’embellishing’ reality and thus shaping a world that doesn’t yet exist.” To enrich the space, Carlijn Jacobs has invited Dutch artist and designer Sabine Marcelis to join her in creating an “ultimate dream world”.
From 6 October 2023 to 21 January 2024
Keizersgracht 609, Amsterdam