The camera she had received from her mother Gine just before her death in 2009 turned out to be a life-changing gift for Micky Hoogendijk (b. 1970, Amsterdam), and a guiding force in her life. Now, however, she was behind the camera, rather than in front of it. Having mastered the art of photography, she evolved as a photographer while living in the United States. Several of her pictures were exhibited for the first time in 2012 at Art Platform in Los Angeles. In the years that followed she exhibited on numerous occasions in the United States and the Netherlands, and also in Belgium, Germany, the UK, Turkey, Canada, Mexico, Colombia and Japan. Hoogendijk had her first solo exhibition, The Other Side of Fear Is Freedom, at Eduard Planting Gallery in Amsterdam in 2015. Her first museum retrospective was at Museum Jan van der Togt in Amstelveen in 2017. A book of her work was also published at the same time. Hoogendijk is represented by galleries in Amsterdam, London, Houston and Mexico City. She returned to live in the Netherlands in 2018, in the Brabant village of Hoogeloon, where she has her own gallery next to her studio. There, her photographs and, since mid-2020, her sculptures are on permanent display.
“I’m curious about everything in life, but people, all their individual stories, fascinate me the most. I love the diversity of cultures, faces, skin colour, sexual orientation and the deep impact of religion and history, the path we take to get to where we are.” Hoogendijk focuses on portraiture and nudes, and has developed a style that is defined by her close attention to the individual subject. Nudity, motherhood, masks and water are recurring themes, as are universal contrasts like light and dark, fulfilment and emptiness, disclosure and concealment. The narrative nature of her serene, tranquil images is reminiscent of the paintings of the Flemish primitives and of late nineteenth-century symbolism. Hoogendijk’s dreams feature in her pictures, as does the artist herself. Stylised distance, bittersweet realism and refined aesthetics define her visual idiom, with digital manipulation enhancing the layered quality of the images and creating a symbolism that is both classical and contemporary, universal and personal.
The transition from 2D to 3D was a completely logical step for Hoogendijk, coming as it did from a strong intrinsic desire to make spatial images. “I wanted to feel more, make something more tangible. I can only do that through sculpture.” The Ones is Hoogendijk’s first venture into sculpture. Just as her photographs are self-portraits, she also reveals herself in her sculptures. “They are about me. About the vulnerable me, about the strong me. About how you go out into the world, how you grow up, and about the fact that you go through a lot along the way.” Hoogendijk hopes that her work will connect us to her emotions, and in the process bring us closer to our own feelings. In The Ones it is not a matter of what we see, but of what we do not see. The sculptures are about what we feel. To Hoogendijk, the invisible connection between artist and viewer is vital.
STRENGTH – vulnerability – Micky Hoogendijk, photography and sculpture will be published by Waanders in June 2022. In her monograph, Karin van Lieverloo considers Hoogendijk’s work in the context of the artist as an individual, of art history and of the current times. Never before has Hoogendijk given such a sincere, frank and intriguing glimpse into her life, to give us a deeper understanding of her art.