Paul Kooiker

“Fashion” is a concept that represents what is trending at the moment. Paul Kooiker’s fashion photography, on the other hand, is characterised by its timelessness. The artist portrays the biggest fashion brands and today’s most famous faces, but transports them to a world of their own. Disconnected from time and place, his surreal images feel like film stills with stories we can only guess.

Woman sitting on a stool
Untitled, 2019Paul Kooiker.
Kim Kardashian sitting
Untitled, 2020Paul Kooiker.
Woman laughing
Untitled, 2022.Paul Kooiker.
Hand with leather gloves squeezing dough
Untitled, 2021Paul Kooiker.

About the exhibition

It is for this reason that Paul Kooiker is currently a much sought-after photographer in the world of fashion and beauty. With his fashion commissions, Paul Kooiker breaks free from the dominant beauty paradigms in a seemingly effortless way. He creates an unmanageable kind of beauty that is not superficial, but almost Freudian in the way it plays on dark desires, fetishisms and subconscious dreams. Furthermore, his photography transcends classic gender roles: his models adopt unusual poses and their faces are often left out of frame, obscuring their identity. At times, it is not even clear whether the subject is human or a doll. In order to capture the extravagance of luxury objects, Kooiker magnifies its means of presentation, like for example mannequins and displays, to such a degree that it is ultimately our desire itself that is captured by his camera.

All works in the exhibition are created with an iPhone. At a time when everyone photographs with their smartphone, Paul Kooiker uses precisely this tool to create a parallel world that is apparently detached from it and that cannot be copied. His exhibition, FASHION, brings together a large variety of images from his fashion commissions to create an encompassing installation that works much like a hall of mirrors: it freezes the breakneck speed of the fashion industry and reveals the absurdity of human vanity and desire.

Untitled, 2021 © Paul Kooiker.

Workshops and interactive tours

Experience the current exhibition in a unique way through our interactive tours. Foam Forward Tours are based on the expertise of young students, who will guide you through the exhibition with short interactive assignments.

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In addition to interactive tours on Thursday evenings, Foam also offers a free walk-in workshop every Sunday afternoon. Dive deeper into the exhibition and experience FASHION by Paul Kooiker in a unique way.

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Untitled, 2021 © Paul Kooiker.

About the artist

Paul Kooiker (born 1964, Rotterdam) studied at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague and the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam (1990-1992). Kooiker was awarded the Prix-de-Rome Photography in 1996 and the A. Roland Holst Award for his oeuvre in 2009. Foam previously hosted a solo exhibition of his autonomous work in 2006, under the title Paradise Twenty-One. Kooiker’s works have been displayed in countless solo and group exhibitions in the Netherlands and abroad, including Museum Folkwang, Essen (2021/22, DE); Museum Voorlinden, Wassenaar (2020, NL); Centraal Museum, Utrecht (2020, NL); FOMU Fotomuseum, Antwerp (2018, BE); Fotomuseum Den Haag (2014, NL); and Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam (2009, NL). Furthermore, his works can be found in a great many international collections, both public and private. Paul Kooiker is represented by tegenboschvanvreden (NL) and Galerie Zink (DE).

For more information or press requests, please see here or contact our press office at pressoffice@foam.org.

With special thanks to tegenboschvanvreden , Galerie Zink and HALBE-Rahmen.

Foam is supported by the VriendenLoterij, Foam Members, De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek, the VandenEnde Foundation and Gemeente Amsterdam.

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Paul Kooiker