JULIA HETTA – Different Days
13 May – 21 June 2014
Opening Night Tuesday 13 May 6 pm
Swedish Julia Hetta graduated from the Gerrit Rietveldt Academie in Amsterdam in 2004. Her work has since been shown in exhibitions and magazines around Europe; Holland, Belgium, Sweden and France. The images of Julia Hetta contains both the beautiful, sensous and romantic as well as the dark and lurid. Her colours has a nearly renaissance palette quality to it, while her black and white work is rich in contrast and does not fear the very dark and black.
Johan Croneman on Julia Hetta:
I was talking to a well known Swedish photographer. I said “Julia Hetta”, he said “Rembrandt”. We stood there nodding to each other, somewhat smugly, actually. We knew. The two of us had been right about a lot together. “But mainly she’s good,” I said. “Very good,” he said.
In the early 2000s, Julia Hetta was studying at the Gerrit Rietveldt Academie in Amsterdam. That’s probably not too far, geographically or mentally, from the Rijksmuseum and classic painting of the Netherlands. And the Goeden Eeuw, of course, the golden age of Dutch painting, the 17th century: Rembrandt, Vermeer, Hals, van Goyen, Kalf. Possibly. Julia Hetta may already have learned to live with that comparison, or should one say historic parallel, or reference – she has certainly been there and dug around and found knowledge and inspiration. (Surely she must have.)
It’s really strange that we should be so astonished, impressed and surprised about this. What could be less surprising than the fact that a photographer and artist should have drawn knowledge and inspiration from some of the very best, and practically most famous, the most obvious and for many quite wonderful: the Dutch Masters. But it’s very original, and very different, and it turns into something unusually beautiful. I can’t interpret it any other way than that Hetta seems to be happy to show it, where it comes from, and where she’s coming from. And this in a time, in a world, where just about every artistic sort doesn’t mind claiming to have invented the wheel. Or at least sketched it – for quite a long time. Really. All by themselves.
There is such precision in Hetta’s eye, and she can also create that double vision that is immediately returned to you. In other words, I’m looking at an image of a person who has just caught sight of me. How could one fail to be interested, attracted, entranced?! I’m not saying that that’s the secret, or the truth, but admit it’s pretty good: an artist who makes the beholder feel that he is being looked at. And, mark well, with his conscience intact; it’s not some consolation prize. On the contrary, you can just stand there, feeling remarkably well. And nobody’s going to send you an invoice for it. It’s one of those real, true, artistic investments which have nothing at all to do with money, a gaze that simply confirms that I exist, not how much I can spend or what the gaze is worth in cash. By the way, is it still possible to look at a single work of art without relating it to value? I was just referring to a consolation prize myself.
If anyone had said “Dutch Master” to me just a week or so ago, I would mainly have thought of two things: partly Ajax, Johan Cruyff and Johan Neeskens, partly an excruciatingly long visit to the Rijksmuseum during Easter of ’63. With Mum and Dad and three sisters. I have the distinct impression that it was pitch dark in there, but that was probably mostly my frame of mind. It was the spring, it was Easter, I was eight years old and walking around for hours listening to Dad’s leaden Rembrandt lecture. We didn’t have pedometers back then, but we must have walked for a good fifty miles. At least. I actually read in the paper today that Ajax had become Dutch Masters, for the 31st time. But too bad for them: my first thought went to Julia Hetta. You can develop, even past the age of fifty.