RU
Deep Inside. Cornelie Tollens
7.12.2019 - 2.02.2020
On December 2019 Ruarts Gallery celebrates its 15th anniversary.
On this day, the Gallery will open the solo exhibition of Cornelie Tollens, a famous photographer from the Netherlands, who will present a new series of her works. The exhibition is dedicated to the anniversary of Ruarts Gallery.


The exhibition will be held from December 7th, 2019 to February 2th, 2020 at Ruarts Gallery.

"In the silence of your bones and eyes, forgotten magic sits and waits for fire".
Robert Montgomery

As a fashion photographer and portraitist, Cornelie Tollens collaborated with such magazines as Vogue, Dutch, Elle and Elegance. Her photographs were also published in Avenue, JFKmen, Credits, La Vie en Rose, and Playboy and she contributed to worldwide advertising campaigns for many international brands such as Mercedes, Tommy Hilfiger, Nike, Ikea, Nokia, Talpa and Martini.
Cornelie Tollens’ photos are regularly exhibited in Milan, Paris, Amsterdam, New York, Kyoto, Brussels, Moscow and other cities across the globe.

In the beautiful wonderland of her photography, Cornelie Tollens conjoins animal instinct and girlish innocence. At a closer look, her works reveal a more profound layer, in which a feeling of emptiness and desire take the lead. Meanwhile, throughout her oeuvre, there is this search for Impossible Love, an attempt to create spiritual and carnal union.

Naked female bodies in combination with flowers and plants generates extremely sensual feelings. And visual aestheticism of photographs evolves into almost physical attraction and sexual desire. Even still lifes, traditionally depicting mostly inanimate objects, in the works of Cornelli acquire sensuality and eroticism. Her works glorify the triumph of the flesh and the ongoing pleasure.

Exploring eroticism and ecstasy as the death drive, Cornelie Tollens inevitably follow in the path traced by such provocative photographers as Robert Mapplethorpe, Nobuyoshi Araki and Bettina Rheims, authors who constantly sought to seize the borderline between attractive and repulsive, beauty and ugliness. Just as these authors, Cornelie is trying to discover at what point desire as a noble life force becomes vulgar lust, and to reconsider the dichotomy of eroticism and pornography. In a new series of works, the photographer demonstrates how the natural beauty of the female body bends and turns inside out in its ultimate states, exposing sometimes the extreme, almost obscene manifestations of human nature.

However, in Cornelie’s works, the obsession with Thanatos and the death drive are mitigated by the fleur of her girlish fantasies, the naivety and innocence of the most passionate female dreams. Despite their extremely carnal presence, girls on her photographs seem to dissolve in pleasure, their silhouettes blur in a sweet slumber while their bodies take on ghostly shapes.

Another aspect of Cornelie’s art, which retains her works on a fine line between enhanced eroticism and banal vulgarity, is a special, almost painterly technique. Deep velvet colors, noble tinctures, flickering light and softening contours (“sfumato”) inherit the traditions of the best examples of European painting, attentive to details and textures. Some of her works are a tribute to such important European painters as Courbet (“The Origin of the World”), Manet (“Olympia”, “Breakfast on the Grass”) and Schiele (“Kneeling Girl, Resting on Both Elbows”). And the magical relation between beauty, femininity and death, which permeates Cornelie Tollens’ art, directly refers to the aesthetics of Dutch still lifes of the 17th century with their magnificent splendor.
EXHIBITION
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