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Critical Focus: Dutch Photographer’s Site

Click on the site of Desiree Dolron, a young Dutch photographer of talent. Her images are evocative pictures shown in an attractive website package. The site is pretty and stylish and inclusive but a little difficult to navigate. The black page with its haunting portraits and penetrating views of Havana, Cuba is found at
Desiree Dolron. She has created a corner of the web both commercial and artistic that is worth a visit.

A review in Fotografen in Nederland by Wim van Sinderen from 2002 notes her “staged photographs made partly with the help of the computer”. These are the portraits and staged views with elusive, shadowy figures. I love one of a very young girl with Eurasian features who looks directly into the lens with a look I have not yet totally identified: knowing, innocent, sly, honest, Lolita-esque or even childish. It haunts me. I have yet to see where a computer was used in this picture. It appears straight-forward. Others in this series are more and less haunting; but all are interesting.

He also mentions “The photo documentary that Dolron made in the period 1991-1999 of religious rituals in such countries as India, Thailand, Morocco and the Phillipines, collected in 2000 in the book Exaltation. Images of Religion and Death…” This is a series that might be of interest to many. I am not presently fascinated by the subject of death and dying for a number of reasons. Judge this one for yourselves.

The portrait series that interests and haunts me so much he describes (quoted in her site) as
“In her 2002 portrait series, Desiree Dolron shows her devotion to painting by giving her anonymous models a semblance of the Flemish Primitives and Johannes Vermeer…” I can’t and won’t argue. I love Vermeer – even though it is said that there are 80+ Vermeers in the world and the painter only created 34). The question which I put to her was how much she was influenced by the Dutch master and how much the Dutch must see in this manner because of Dutch light. Sadly, she has not answered my questions. I hope it is because she is making more fine pictures.

As I said her site is attractive in its black background with single images and non-annoying controls. However, note that the controls are so non-annoying that they are hard to find. The bottom of the screen has sets of small squares with grey type on black. Each set takes you to “commercial work”, “art work”, and “contact”. For each series of screens a number of small squares appear that, when clicked, turn white and take you to different areas or pictures.

A third series that is well worth the time is Te di todos mis suenos ( I give you all my dreams) which is a series from 2002 in Havana, Cuba. This is a fine travel/documentary with style and substance about the Cuba of Fidel and of now.

Although a commercial site; it is well worth a trip to her site. We will hope that even more will be added to the site and that she is working and succeeding since she has a fine eye for people, for a sense of place, and an understanding of color. The pictures load quickly even with my slow dial-up service and some stick in your head for a long time.

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