Bertien Van Manen: Moonshine

Bertien van Manen is a Dutch photographer. She started her career as a fashion photographer, after having studied French and German languages and literature. Inspired by Robert Frank's The Americans she travelled around, photographing what she saw.

USA – 

Spanning almost three decades, ‘Moonshine’ published by MACK, is a portrait of the American Appalachian folk, a mythologised region populated by ‘moonshiners’. Van Manen’s images are defined by a fierce intimacy with her subject, as the viewer teeters on the edge of the frame, perpetually trespassing on private moments: rollicking children practicing handstands on the couch; a kneeling daughter combing the hair of her grandmother.

Van Manen first visited the region in 1985, to the Appalachian areas of Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia, returning periodically to visit mining families with whom she lived: the Boggs family with their ten red-haired sons; miners Mavis and Junior. The intergenerational images subtly trace the insidious changes undergone by Appalachia – the slow and steady demise of the mining industry, and the migration of inhabitants from ramshackle wooden cabins to the city, or urban trailer parks. Van Manen intermixes black-and-white images with later colour work – another register of time passing and the inevitability of change.

Moonshine17defBOEK

Photography feature – Bertien van Manen rolled into photography almost by accident, taking pictures of her children with an old camera. As her work became more public she was soon drafted into the world of fashion photography. In 1977 she tired of the industry, and on discovering the documentary photography of Robert Frank and Josef Koudelka, van Manen began to explore the developing relationship between herself and her subjects, keeping a closeness and developing a personal, organic style of photography.

Related Posts

Jen Juul Gomma Books

Celebrating Black and White Photography with Gomma Books

MONO Trilogy is about celebrating that beautiful and timeless art medium that is black & white photography. It represents an …

Jeroen Toirkens: Solitude

Netherlands – In April 2013 Jeroen Toirkens and Petra Sjouwerman travelled by car, boat, bus and snowmobile across the Barents …

Joan Fontcuberta: The Photography of Nature / The Nature of Photography

Catalan photographer Joan Fontcuberta is the 33rd recipient of the prestigious HasselbladFoundation International Award in Photography. To celebrate the award …

Monk… Its personal – Ekkarat Punyatara

Thailand – I believe Buddhism or the middle way of Buddha is the personal journey of each person’s mind, observing …

Space Invader – Christian Caujolle

France – Emaho caught up with celebrated French curator and photographer Christian Caujolle to see the view from his rarefied …

Daisuke Yokata: Site/Cloud

Japan – I see a photo. I took it. Although many decades have not passed since the shoot, I cannot …

Tiane Doan na Champassak: Dick 999

India –    THIS STORY CONTAINS EXPLICIT CONTENT Dick 999 published by RVB Books is a collection of anonymous photographs …

Diego Saldiva: Momentos e Maculas

Brazil – Besides being a shelter, the house is as well a home, an emotional and intimate place, a private …

Video: Emaho Mussoorie Workshop with Cristina de Middel & Ricardo Cases in collaboration with IED Madrid

Organized by EMAHO and IED MADRID Dated: June 19-22nd June,2014 India The recent success of the Spanish photobook has produced much curiosity and …