by Paolo Ferrarini of Future Concept Lab
Considered one of the most creative groups in the Netherlands today, Carmen Freudenthal and Elle Verhagen have been working as a photographic team since 1989, after studying at the renowned Gerrit Rietveld Art Academy in Amsterdam together and graduating respectively as photographer and fashion designer. The upshot of collaborations with fashion designers, performers and other artists over the years is an extensive body of work, which after two decades still feels as fresh, vibrant and exciting today as when it was initially made.
A complete series of their pictures is currently on show at Dopolavoro, a new Milan gallery that's a project of the communication agency Golab. The works on display are from magazines such as Dazed & Confused, Jalouse, Studio Voice, High Fashion, Visionaire, I-D, Self Service and NºB. Every image speaks to the duo's willingness to experiment and challenge the boundaries of fashion, art and photography, an approach resulting in an original style that transcends the conventions of what we know as âfashion photography."
Since they use any kind of photographic techniques—from classical to contemporary—the impact is often surreal, sometimes funny and scary, but always, as the catalogue puts it, "a playful celebration of the liberation of the imagination."