|Place of Birth||Sneek|
BioJenny grew up in a small town in the Netherlands, the youngest daughter of three girls.
From an early age she was attracted to beauty in the images of fashion and music. It was not the brands or the clothes that attracted her, but the photographs. The desire to possess those photographs was so powerful that she ripped out pages of them from library books: not only photographs of Sarah Bernhardt made by Nadar, but also photographs of a man in a straitjacket, which later turned out to have something to do with the Marquis de Sade.
The fantasies she had as a child had sadomasochism as a central theme, even though, at the time, she didn’t recognise them as such. After a long journey through the Dutch education system she progressed from hairdressing school to a college of pedagogy, and finally ending up at the Fotoacademie.
Throughout that journey Jenny had always been creative, expressing herself through painting from the age of 17. She always wanted to immerse herself in photography but understood that it was expensive – perhaps too expensive – and the photo-academy was too distant to consider applying. However, with the introduction of the digital camera she projected her expressiveness into the realm of photography. Starting out with a small compact camera she discovered that, with a few equally small adjustments of the photographs in the editing process, she could create the images she possessed in her mind’s eye. Taking photographs rapidly grew to be her most passionate hobby and expression of her art.
After a twist of fate put the Fotoacademie within her reach, applying to study there was the logical next step, but after two years of formal study Jenny decided to pause that study to cultivate her own style. With fashion in mind but no fashion apparel to support her ideas her photographs developed more in the direction of the nude and eroticism. Delving into her subconscious rekindled fantasies from the past that she processed into her collection Blue, and this cleared a path in her consciousness, as well as in her photographs, to the world of fetish and BDSM.
The essence Jenny strives to evoke and capture is originality and emotion. She describes this as “the thing my art is about, the rawness of existence, that rawness I recognise in poverty, repression, modern dance or tango and BDSM. The power of daring to be vulnerable. You have to be brave and willing enough to crawl on all fours.
“To experience life in all its aspects and richness and to grow as a person is what life is actually all about and that is what makes a human complete. You will never experience wealth if you have not known poverty and that rings true for everything. My photographs reveal rawness but also beauty – that contradiction lives in me. Human relations and the process of being human are what have always interested me – the authentic and raw experience of emotions when you submerge yourself in the process. A photograph only means something to me when it is able to evoke some sort of emotion, whatever emotion that may be.
“People may think about what they see and experience in my work and think about what it says about themselves and why they feel that way. I always used to paint to release my blocked emotions and to express them. Maybe I am further down the track now and it is my turn to help release the viewer’s emotions. I have been through the process and I can now capture it in an image. Maybe my images can be of some assistance to someone or be meaningful to someone in some way.
“But not every image has to have a meaning; I also just like beautiful pictures”.
by Groningen-based photographer Reyer Boxem
for Kunstgids Kunstenaars 2009
The photography of Jenny Boot (Sneek, Holland, 1969) is an eclectic mix of portrait, fashion and freestyle influences. In her portraits we see classic fashion photography lighting techniques and in her freestyle work we see the same attention to detail and styling as her fashion work.
Besides her many self-portraits Jenny mostly photographs women: baroque, modern, glamorous, dangerous, and seductive to outright sexy. Always strong, and always emphasising physicality: raw, naked or dressed up as a Victorian lady. The models transpose spontaneously before her camera into a mirror image: once again self-portraits caught in the artistic glow.
Her masterful use of lighting techniques creates a stage in which she moulds a humanity of her own sensibility: naked and defenceless. The audience encounters a dark world, ominous, set within a cinematic decor; a piquant vision of unsettling scenes.
Shiver and enjoy.
Jenny Boot is represented by Arcangel and Hollandse Hoogte.
2011 Featured photographer, SomethingDark webmagazine, no. 2, pp. 7, 10–33, 108–13.
SDk's featured photographer for issue 02: 31 pages of photography and articles by, and on, the artist.
2011 “A passion for life”, SomethingDark webmagazine, no. 2, pp. 10–13, 18.
An article outlining the discovery of photography as a life’s passion and the choices the artist must make, by Jenny Boot (Photography section).
2011 “Jenny Boot: Reflecting courage and versatility in art’s mirror” (interview), SomethingDark webmagazine, no. 2, pp. 10–18, 108–13.
Interview with SDk02’s featured photographer, Jenny Boot (Photography section).
Twelve-page feature in the international, book-like gallery magazine of erotic photography from Germany, published twice yearly.
2010 Photography feature in black-and-white, VVSM Magazine (Belgium), no. 56, July–Sept.
Belgian BDSM community magazine published by VVSM
A novel in the thriller genre.