Goos van der Veen (Netherlands, 1958) has been working as a photographer since 1983. While his early work was mainly commissioned, most of his recent photographs (a fusion of documentary, landscape and street photography) are presented as autonomous works.

In the past, Van der Veen has worked for the weekly magazine Vrij Nederland (1983-2005) and many other printed media, was commissioned twice by the Amsterdam Fund for the Arts, and made several independent documentary series. One of these (The Skiable Landscape) has been exhibited in the Museum Belvedere in Heerenveen, as part of the Noorderlicht International Photo Festival 2012. In 2019 a number of photographs were exhibited during the Head On Photo Festival in Sydney, Australia.

Van der Veen started experimenting with autonomous color photography in the early 1980's, when the work of artists like Eggleston, Shore, Sternfeld and Meyerowitz first came to his attention. Color photographs were shown at various exhibitions, but he was often disappointed by the limitations of color film and printing techniques.

It was the appearance of high-quality inkjet printers that lifted many of these limitations and from the late 1990's he began exploring how to digitally re-create the variance, intensity and vibrance of the colors that inspired him to take the photograph in the first place.

His latest documentary series Amsterdam - The City Proper is a portrait of the picturesque old city swarmed with hordes of people, a battle between the chaos of the crowds and the order of the architecture.

In his current body of work Untitled (ink on paper) he is moving away from the paradigm of the photograph being a representation of some reality, by withholding descriptive titles and other metadata. All there is left are the image itself, and the strange little worlds that they present. Photography is often used to inform; it is expected to offer the viewer a glance at a reality in another time and another place. The viewer is usually not really looking at the photograph itself, but through it at the original reality. Titles and other context help him make the connection.

Without this context however, the image is disconnected from its origins. Instead of being informative it becomes an enigmatic little universe of its own, while concepts like 'truth' and 'meaning' become questionable.

Goos van der Veen lives and works in Hilversum, The Netherlands.

Goos van der Veen on social media:




about / goos van der veen

Goos van der Veen in the media:

NRC HANDELSBLAD: ‘Gamma-tierelantijnen wil ik niet’ (Interview by Eddie Marsman, NRC 2000/10/05) (In Dutch, paid)

FOTOGRAFIE.BLOG: Een opmerkelijk beeld (In Dutch)

ROOD PETJE: Bidden fotograferen (In Dutch)

TROUW: Zwaan is dankzij de EU weer van iedereen (In Dutch)

On TV:

Frisian TV, interview about The Skiable Landscape at Noorderlicht (at 12’49”, in Dutch)

On the web:

The Skiable Landscape on (also in Italian)

The Skiable Landscape exhibited at the Noorderlicht International Photo Festival 2012, in museum Belvedere in Heerenveen, The Netherlands.

The Skiable Landscape, Amsterdam - The City Proper and Untitled (ink on paper) on LensCulture:

Untitled (ink on paper) on PHMuseum: