Justine Tjallinks (The Netherlands, 1984)
The unusual is often ignored or disapproved of by the public. The work of Justine Tjallinks gives expression to the fact that it is ok to be different and that this is something to be embraced and encouraged. She aims to capture the uniqueness of individuals and the diversity of human beauty.
Inspired by the craft of various master painters, from the Golden Age to the Magic Realistic painters from the 20th century, her artworks feature muted colours, detailed surfaces and balanced compositions. Fashion is often used as additional means of expression. These means, corresponding with the normative idea of beauty, serve to encourage the viewer to come closer to the uniqueness of the depicted individual than he or she would maybe do in real life.
Although Tjallinks’ works depict different models, they are also self-portraits. They reflect the way she deals with events that take place in her life. The most tangible part of the artist lies in the typical gaze, which often breathes a sense of melancholia. This emotional state has always interested Tjallinks. In art history, the gaze has always been one of the most important means to build up a relationship between an artwork and its viewer, and therefore between the artist and the viewer. Like in many old master paintings, the individuals depicted by Tjallinks often look at the viewer, no matter his or her standing point. Even though her work shares this quality with the masters of the past, her aim is to always remain within the contemporary zeitgeist and to create her own language.
After sketching, scouting and shooting, Justine spends countless hours editing an image. The same way a painter keeps on adding and changing brush strokes of paint, Justine keeps on adding and changing digital brush strokes until a balance is reached and a work comes alive. Only then a work is finished and becomes a self in its own right.