Johan Nieuwenhuize’s series of photographs, Profile Pictures, can be regarded as a collection of encounters with artists. It is a series of abstracted images with details of works of art. The images are photographic moments showing the portrait in different abstracted forms, as reflections (Self Portrait with Anish Kapoor), shadows (Self Portrait with Lawrence Weiner), or contours (Self Portrait with James Turrell), and in which one image may be more recognizable as a portrait than others.
The series has evolved from situations in which Johan Nieuwenhuize encounters works of art that inspire him, influence his identity as an artist, or challenge his concept of the world. It is a response to today’s social media and visual aesthetics, as well as an attempt to visualize an identity in a profound way.
‘I seek to give the viewer the opportunity to identify with the person in the images. By using abstraction, I become one with the artwork, and so can the viewer. I visualize the fact that the reflection on art, figuratively speaking, can shape your identity.’