A new exhibition has opened in the Fotomuseum in Rotterdam. Award-winning photographer Martin Schoeller, born in Germany, lives in the States, shows his Big Heads. Almost human size blown ups of the faces of celebrities, twins, transgenders and bodybuilders.



The Wilhelminapier once was entirely used as a harbor for cruise ships to the United States. Since the 90s the pier was developed in a new neighborhood with skyscrapers named after far away destinations such as Montevideo and New Orleans. After the skyscrapers the cultural institutions followed. There’s a small movie theatre called Lantaren/Venster, a theatre called Nieuwe Luxor and the Fotomuseum. And in the near future a food market and Room Mate Hotel will open the doors. Lots to discover!


Similar settings, magical effect

Het Nederlands Fotomuseum invited Martin Schoeller for their latest exhibition. What he does is creating impressive portraits of people with a neutral expression, all with similar lighting and tone, without attention on the clothes and the background. You’ve probably known his work already. He shot portraits for magazines such as GQ, Rolling Stones and The New Yorker – and won tons of awards with them. And the impressive thing is that he blows up the portraits in such a way that you, as a visitor of the exhibition, been drawn to it in a magical way.


Close up

It’s as if you’re really having an one-on-one with for example Barack Obama or Messi. You can see every wrinkle, every spot, every birthmark. Because they all have a neutral look it feels like you get to known them a little better. Why is it that you see the sadness, the tough life he had, in one person, while the other looks carefree? It’s especially interesting to see that at the Twins part of the exhibition. From a distance they look the same as they are identical twins, but especially with the older twins it seems like one of them had a harder life than the other.


More to see

After celebrities like Jack Nicholson, Meryl Streep, Denzel Washington and Julia Roberts and the Twins, you can also watch the masculine bodies of female bodybuilders from up close. And Martin Schoeller also made story-telling portraits of people like Michael Douglas, April Bloomfield and George Clooney.


A true recommendation!


Until September 2, check out: www.nederlandsfotomuseum.nl



Title: Barack Obama

Year: 2004

Medium: Archival Pigment Print

© Martin Schoeller



Credits opening picture of Usain Bolt: 

Title: Usain Bolt at The Metropolitan Museum of Art; New York, NY

Year: 2009

Medium: Archival Pigment Print

© Martin Schoeller

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