The photographs are made from fragments of photographic material from the digital image library that they has amassed over the years. Each work is created through a time-consuming process comprising transformation, drawing, painting, adding and removing. The duo also uses a computer as a photographic dark room, and as a drawing and painting tool, in order to create their remarkable dreamworld of bizarre characters.
Mythical and mysterious
The human form, often portrayed sensually, plays a central role in Schilte & Portielje's work. The curious figures appear to be entangled in unnatural physical poses, torsos sometimes twisted at 180 degrees to the lower body, or portrayed as half-human,half-beast. This unusual representation of man creates a mysterious, almost mythical impression. In this respect, their work exhibits a visual affinity with surrealism. Schilte & Portielje purposely choose to eliminate all colour from their work, which creates a greater distance from reality, and a tension in the contrast between the advanced computer technique and the somewhat nostalgic feeling summoned by the black and white aspect of their work.
Work by Schilte & Portielje is exhibited regularly both in the Netherlands and further afield like ArtRotterdam, PAN Amsterdam, Unseen, Photo LA en Paris Photo.The duo has also worked on various editorials for national and international magazines including Zoom Magazine, Glamcult, De Morgen, NRC Handelsblad and Modern Times.
Schilte & Portielje are represented by the Kahmann Gallery in Amsterdam.
The exhibition is accompanied by a book entitled ‘PHOTOWORKS BEYOND REALITY - Volume 2', published by Voetnoot Publishers. This publication presents almost all of Schilte & Portielje's work up to and including 2012 (price € 25, ISBN 978-90-78068-83-9).