Jan Blankestein, photographer. Born in May 1935. A self-taught man and a late-developer. He started professional photography when
he was 59. Before that he worked in the fashion business for 12 years, and for 20 years in the financial world, of which 8 years
as a Bankmanager. At the age of 34 he turned down an invitation to go and work in the USA as a fashion photographer. Specialities:
fetish/kinky, carnival (also a little bit fetish), demonstrations and lifestyle.|
The photographer started full-time photography on the 1st of May 1994, and profiles himself as a 'photograph artiste'. He looks for the power of human emotion and expression in his pictures. He won first prize in 1994 in a photography competition which carried the theme 'Water' and third prize in a competition carrying the theme 'Eroticism'. In 1994 he was nominated in Paris for the sector 'Report' and had a mention in the sector 'Portrait'. In 1995 he was mentioned three times in the sector 'Showbizz' at the biggest photography competition in the world. For the 'Oskar-Barnack-Preis,' 1996 portraits of the series 'Kinky Amsterdam' have been judged as belonging to the most representative photowork of 1996. The jury reports called the work "aggressive and strongly erotically loaded". The television programme 'De Wallen op Stap' of IDtv on SBS6 did an item on 'kinky photography' based on the experiences of the photographer and his pictures. D&D Productions did an item for the programme 'Nachtrijder', in October 1997. The latter programme showed how the photo material for the photobook Kinky Amsterdam came about. The press-presentation of the photobook took place the 12th of September 1998: AVRO-radio, AT5 and Worldradio interviewed the photographer. Spring 1999 Liebe Suende made a portrait from the Amsterdam fetish photographer for the German commercial TV-channel Pro Sieben (Der Fetisch-Fotograf Jan Blankestein gilt als einer der größten Kenner der Amsterdamer Szene - sein Bildband "Kinky Amsterdam" beweist es. Der Ex-Börsenmakler inszeniert seine Fotografien jedoch nicht, sondern findet seine Motive auf einschlägigen Parties. Liebe sünde machte einem Portät eines Künstlers, der neugierig und zugleich voller Respekt die Fetisch- und SM-Szene der Grachtenstadt dokumentiert) and NTV, a TV-channel in Moscow, did the same for the prgramm Pro Eto.
The photographer looks for confrontation in his pictures. Sometimes hard and direct, sometimes rough, sometimes tender.
He takes photos of people who express their feelings for everyone to see, he chooses this artistic focus as a way to express his own emotions, although he says he is not aware of the process. The photos he makes are, so to speak, a blueprint of his own psychology. What he shows in his pictures are his feelings, his frustrations, his passion and his ego. The photos are a kind of mirror through which he recognises himself in the subjects. The photos show his own psychological nudity. He becomes one with his camera. Exhibition in gallery De Appel in Amsterdam from 26th of January till the 24th of March 2002: Adam & Eve on sex, tolerance and other dependencies. Group-exhibition with Ed van der Elsken, Erwin Olaf, Abramovic/Ulay, Peter Klashorst and Yuk-Lin Tang.
From July, 1 till October,31 this photographer exposed in Amsterdam in a groupsexhibition 'Nieuw Nederland' (New Holland) with a serie Nachtleven, 'the nightlife of Amsterdam'. and later on in the Cultural Centre Griffioen, part of the VU university in Amstelveen.
In march and april 2003 his work was shown (photos of the demonstrations: Stop the war against Iraq) in a virtual exhibition presented by Galerie Lichtblick, Gesellschaft für fotografische Kunst e.V. in Cologne. On the demonstration "dellaguerra[altre]immaginicontro", una notte alla fotografia contemporanea in Brescia on April, 4th 2003 he was one of the 300 participating artists.