Posted in Professional Practice Year 2

Critical Review of an Artist

Who Is Marijke Groeneveld?

BJP, 2016. Marijke Groeneveld asks what makes beauty. The British Journal of Photography, [Online]. October 2016, Available at:

The article Marijke Groeneveld asks what makes beauty, was featured in the British Journal of Photography in the October 2016 edition, written by BJP.  The article focuses on introducing the emerging photographer, identifying her visions and fascinations in her photography, her various ways of working, and introduces us as the viewer to two of her series’ of work.

The title of the article coincides well with the overall suggestion of the artist’s work – Groeneveld’s work is predominantly about identity and self-image and consistently questions the audience as to what beauty is; the same as the title of the article.

The opening two paragraphs of the article give us a small introduction to the artist, allowing us a brief background to build upon. For example, where she graduated from and her fascination with camera behavior of models and beauty. I feel the writer used a very considered amount of background information, which was enough for us to learn what we needed to know to understand the work of Groeneveld.

The main body of the article gave a deeper insight into Groeneveld’s methods and inspirations that go into her work. It provides us with information on her different ways of working such as collages and graphic design to emphasize ugliness and a character different from the “norm”.

The article claims that her main curiosity is the way people behave in front of the camera and uses photography to exploit their personal world and communicate their identities. She uses models that she can connect with and see herself in, and states that the model is always the most important part of the photographer’s image.

The main body of the article is the most successful part at allowing us to understand Groeneveld. The information is not based on biased opinion so seems more factual and considered. The detail of the information we are given allows us to connect with the photographer (assuming the photographer’s work was of interest to the reader).  As a photographer reading the article, it has allowed me to think of ways I could work, so has represented Groeneveld as a strong inspiration to my work.

As the article draws to an end the writer starts to show us two series’ of work – Wanted and Neverland. Wanted is a series of images in which Groeneveld explores models’ motivations and desires for wanting to model. They are revealing portraits of unknown people who pose for a reason; to share their stories and bodies. Neverland is her new series which challenges everything she is used to, with the absence of models and using her own memories to inspire production.

I feel there could have been a bit more emphasis put into this part as the imagery in the article was mainly from the Wanted series, but there was not much description to stand alongside the imagery. However, it could be argued that this was purposeful to interest the reader into delving deeper into this in their own time, using the imagery as a temptation to do so. The introduction of her new series Neverland allows us to see that Groeneveld is still working and is coming up with new innovative ideas that we can look forward to as an audience.

Overall, I feel the article is very insightful about the emerging photographer. It discusses her vision clearly to the audience which allows you to understand her motivations and outcomes. I enjoy the use of quotes from the photographer herself, allowing us to understand her as a person as well as her profession. as someone who has never seen the work of Groeneveld before, it was a great article as an introduction to her and her work, encouraging me to investigate her further. Allowing us to see two of her series of work allows us to engage with and feel more interested to study her work, however I feel this part of the article should have been delved into deeper for us to get a deeper feel for these works. Arguably, the writer may have slacked on this to make the audience want to study this work for themselves if the interest was there. I feel the heavy use of imagery within the article is extremely helpful in giving the photographer a memorable name. Ultimately I feel the article is very successful at telling us who Marijke Groeneveld is.


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