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In Conversation with Woody Bos

This Friday Feb 16th is the Woody Bos Showcase at the Glamcult Store

Mark your calenders and get your friends, because this Friday Feb 16th, is the Woody Bos Showcase at the Glamcult Store. From 5-8pm, we will be celebrating Bos’s latest collection of work, “The Model.” As a fashion photographer, Woody Bos has seen and done it all – from commercial to editorial – and now is stepping into a new space. Honing down a more abstract form of fashion photography, “The Model” focuses on absence, and by extension, a level of stillness. Seriously, come join us for a Friday toast, talk to Bos yourself, and while you’re at it, pick up a limited edition Bos print 😉 

Hey, how are you doing today?
I’m splendid thanks for asking

Let’s start from the beginning. How and why did you begin photography, especially fashion photography?
My father taught me to find beauty in places where we least expect it. He told me to capture and collect letters of the alphabet on camera. I soon found the “A” in a market stall clamp. Branches of a tree became the “Y” and I saw the letter “X” in 2 crossing aeroplane tracks. Well that’s how I became familiar with photography. My brother is a fashion photographer and provided an entrance into the fast-moving world.

And over the years, how would you say that your photography style has evolved?
I’ve assisted quite a lot of photographers whilst building a portfolio. These assistant gigs often consist of technical lighting commercial sets. I’ve found that this had a reversed effect on my photography style. Which became more intuitive in response, I’m greatly inspired by amateur photography. Lighting my work in a make-do way, letting go of the way I used to light sets. Sometimes it’s just a way to show the silhouette that’s in front of me. My work took on more of a conceptual charge by working together with great artists and dear friends Abel Minee and Nikki Hock.

Now, you have totally shifted gears to a more experimental form of fashion photography, can you meditate on what caused this shift?
A love for ready-made art, assisting an amazing still life photographer, these things were already set in stone when the pandemic kicked in. My work found its anonymous form quite naturally. It’s also a search for originality (if this exists). I found it hard to make something that felt like my own with so many set ingredients.

How does your new work enter into conversation with your oeuvre of fashion photography?
It gradually grew into what it is today. Fashion is such an accelerated platform, it’s a love / hate relationship at times. I produce so much work that there’s sometimes almost no reflection. If I look back at those works I feel a certain disconnect towards it. I try to work in a more durable way, I would love to show the images I make today to my son one day and still feel the same excitement and connection that I feel in this moment.

Can you elaborate on the power of the “void” in your photography?
It urges one to reflect on all the given layers in fashion photography hair, make-up, the model, beautiful lighting. when stripped away what’s left. Is it a more honest image? Akin to the tale “The Emperor’s New Clothes” (1837) where the truth lies beyond the illusions of perception. At the end of the day I merely try to float these questions through the work.

Where do you get your inspiration from?
It can be anything, I recently watched the seventh seal by Ingmar Bergman and the lighting, set and symbolism is through the roof – it could also be the meme that cracked me up yesterday. This mix between surrealism and humour often finds its way into the work. I also really like these ready-made works my dad produces, he creates small silhouette faces with stuff he finds outside or around the house. The work I make is made in the in very much the same spirit. I often work together with my girl / babymomma Anna Claassen, she’s a big influence on the work.

How are you hoping to continue exploring the potential of photography moving forward?
I guess it’s an organic process, I have no idea where I’m going but as long as there’s the urge to create I’ll be fine.

What are you manifesting for the rest of 2024?
A sea of tranquillity.

Friday Feb 16th 5-8pm @ Glamcult Store
Dollebegijensteeg 5A, 1012HD Amsterdam
Words by Ella Paritsky
Images Courtesy of Woody Bos