Biography

Hans Neleman (American, 1960) is a Dutch-born photographer and artist. Neleman studied Fine Art at Goldsmiths University in London, England. He holds a Bachelor’s in Film & Photography and a Master of Art degree from New York University. He studied with Robert Mapplethorpe, Duane Michals and Arnold Newman, and assisted William Wegman.

On his recent work, Neleman states: 

The assemblages explore taboos, morbid beauty and the harmony of opposites between mortal and vital, revered and profane, myth and modern tale.

Found objects are re-appropriated and combined with layers of collaged and painted imagery, to create ‘portraits’ that aim to transfigure elements of darkness into objects of beauty.

Elements of myth always lie between perception and concept: they are signs. This perception—or, the image—is linked with something concrete, whereas the concept can refer to something else, and the potential metaphysical references are unlimited.  David Henry Thoreau stated: “The question is not what you look at, it is what you see”

These collaged works are an extension and a natural evolution of my still life photography and its themes are also apparent in my large format photographic portraits, which have focused on facial tattoos, prostitution and extreme body modification.