Ingrid Baars, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Ingrid Baars graduated from the Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam in the early 90s and worked as an independent illustrator and photographer until 2009 when she decided to focus entirely on her artistic career, which previously coexisted with her commercial activities for clients like Nike, Nikon, Dutch National Ballet, Singapore Airlines etc.
Her work is characterized by a photographic collage style that she kept developing throughout her career (already won her the Illustration Year Award in 1997) and became very apparent in her solo shows e.g. About Face, Inside/Outside, Artist Lovers, etc.
In 2011 Ingrid started with her African series ‘Afrique’ drawn to the aesthetics of black women and classical African sculptures. “There was grace, symbolism, mythology and a deeper almost religious sense that fascinated me”. This series continues and incorporates many facets among which the image of the ‘Black Madonna’ takes pride of place, as much inspired by the situation of African American women as by a historical phenomena especially in medieval France; an ancient concept of nature, fertility, motherhood, protection, creation.
Ingrid is one of those artists that keep the whole process in their own hand from the preliminary photo-shoots to the synergy of images and fragments of photographic images that constitute the finished artwork. Ingrid’s work combines different elements and is crossing boundaries of some fenced off territories as photography, fashion, manipulation, collage and classical African art into a synthesis, a new aesthetic.
This aestheticism and romanticism of beauty is imbued with a deeper sense of awareness, of consciousness. Her images are beautiful, yes, but powerful as well. Although very much construed, they create their own reality and seem to possess a life of their own.