Joris van der Ploeg

Joris van der Ploeg (1989)
Lives and works in The Hague, the Netherlands.

Joris van der Ploeg (1989) discovered his passion for photography at the Photo Academy Amsterdam. He photographs young girls in transition to womanhood when they are complex, innocent and naive; aspects that disappear as they grow up. In his photographs he looks for the natural strength and beauty of the girl. Whether they are insecure or self-conscious, he treats them with the highest regards. This results in images that are endearing and tender but also powerful and confronting. They remind us of the many stages of puberty and early adulthood where budding sexuality, conflicting emotions and intense insecurities transform the lives of young girls.

‘I only photograph young females because I find them absolutely mysterious and pure.’ Van der Ploeg is looking for the most natural form of the model, which is the starting point in his work. He emphasizes this aspect, enlarges it and shifts it to a higher level where the models emerge above themselves. It has been a very conscious choice to deprive the image of all context so that all attention would be on the model. There is no use of make-up and the postures are not staged, which leads to classical and natural compositions. By getting rid of all possible elements of meaningful context the model remains in her purest and most natural shape. He extracts the essence, which he enlarges and uses to amplify the mystique around the model. The use of analogue photography and his own technique enhances this: the duplication in the image works in an alienating way and creates an intangible feeling.

“Future Heroes” are all young girls who are not yet in high school. They are in that fragile phase between being a child and hitting puberty: the phase where society has not yet influenced them. They are getting more and more conscious about the world surrounding them and about themselves. Van der Ploeg is fascinated about the intangible complexity of this phase that will soon disappear and evolve into something else. The artist shows the duplicity between the fragility of this age, but also the power they have with a strong developed character of her own. The way they look into the world is fascinating. It makes the images endearing but also confronting at the same time.

“Transcendence” is the second series of Van der Ploeg and in this series he was not explicitly looking for a “super” woman but because of his admiration for women and his intention to portray her in a strong, pure and mystical manner, every model transcends to the level of a superwoman. By portraying them in the nude he shows the woman in their natural form without any distraction of added context. The characteristic technique of the artist is visible all over, which is striking in the work of Van der Ploeg.

In his new series “Ethereal”, van der Ploeg explores the boundary between the real and the ethereal world. The new exhibition will show a selection of work that creates an ethereal world existing of water, mountains and young women interfaced with nature, all presented with a hint of dreaminess.

For years, humans have manipulated the earth for their convenience and efficiency without considering impact on mankind, nature or other living beings. This insolence and self-centeredness have caused our relationship with nature to change from one of respect and harmony to that of control and manipulation for profit and entertainment. Van der Ploeg photographs the sublimity of nature, whether it is the mystique of natural landscapes, the purity of water or strength of the mountains.

“In all of my pictures I try to make reality look more magical and poetic than it really is, showing you my worldview, what I value and think is important. It depicts the beauty, strength and optimism I see in nature and women. Hoping, it will one day change more in this direction.”

Van der Ploeg is a 2014 graduate student of the Photo Academy Amsterdam. His work got much attention and has been shown in different international shows, such as the International Photo Festival Leiden, during UNSEEN Amsterdam at The Lodge and the Vogue Fashion Night Out exhibition in Milan. He is also featured in the book New Dutch Photography Talent 2015 and is currently accepted for the Artist-in-Residency Program of the Three Shadows Photography Art Centre in China.


Criminologie, Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Advertising, Willem de Kooning Academie
Fotoacademie, Amsterdam

June 2016 – “KunstRAI” – Amsterdam
May 2016 – “STROKE Munchen” – Munchen
February 2016 – “RC Art Fair” – Rotterdam
December 2015 – “Miami SCOPE” – Miami
November 2015 – “Affordable Art Fair” – Hamburg
October 2015 – “Art the Hague” – Den Haag
September 2015 – “We are the Guys X Gustafson” – Amsterdam
Juni 2015 – “KunstRAI” – Amsterdam
April 2015 – “QLICK Editions” – Amsterdam
February 2015 – “Rotterdam Contemporary” – Rotterdam
January 2015 – Solo exhibition, multiple series, Pakhuis De Zwijger – Amsterdam
October 2014 – “Art the Hague” – Den Haag
September 2014 – “The Lodge”, WE ARE THE GUYS – Amsterdam
June 2014 – “Loaded”, Fotogram Gallery Amsterdam
May 2014 – “Loaded”, Loods 6 – Amsterdam
April 2014 – “Fotovrijdag”, Fotogram Gallery Groningen
June 2013 – “Second Ground”
April 2013 – “Het Oog” Fotogram Gallery Amsterdam
November 2012 – Fotogram Nominations Fotogram Gallery Amsterdam

New Dawn
Volkskrant Magazine
SeeMe Magazine
Life Framer Collection
New Dawn Portfolio
Art + Commerce – Photovogue Collection
Dodho Magazine
New Dawn No5
HELVED top 50 nomination
Driven by Desire
New Dutch Photography Talent 2015
Weekend Artist nr 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 30
SeemeExposure Award – Nomination Category bodies
De Fotograaf No3 -2014
ALT Foto
C Magazine
Online Galerij
Live Oost
The Exposure Award – Black & White Collection
Jute Magazine