The relationship between artist and muse is one based on mutual interest and curiosity; they share a symbiotic dependence. My Muse, a series of portraits by Jouk Oosterhof featuring her muse and former neighbor Andre, illustrates this; their coexistence forms something greater. A chance encounter involving loud music and a disgruntled Andre had them meet for the first time and thus began the fascination between artist and muse.
Andre is middle aged and balding, yet Oosterhof’s intrigue in him and the sober interiors of his home has resulted in a body of work that has spanned fifteen years. Though the work is a projection of the artist’s imagination, it appears nearly observatory, as though Oosterhof has been granted access to Andre’s secret world. However, the clothing, lighting, and pose are all carefully calculated by the photographer.
As the photographs progress, one can see that as their trust in each other intensifies, the photographs become increasingly playful. Oosterhof expresses her vision and Andre willingly transforms. Even through the pencils skirts and pink sweaters, Oosterhof keeps intact her perception of Andre. She uses the effeminate clothing, staged poses and the pastel interiors to bring forth and complement the character she sees in him.