Rineke Dijkstra’s Images on View at SFMOMA

A Rineke Dijkstra photograph from 2005 of a group of youths in Amsterdam. Her photographs are on view at SFMOMA from February 18 - May 28, 2012.
Published: March 15, 2012 / NYTs

IN 1992, when Rineke Dijkstra was an unknown photographer from the Netherlands visiting the United States, she found herself shooting pictures on a beach in South Carolina while being watched intently by an extroverted 14-year-old blond girl.

Ms. Dijkstra was trying to make naturalistic portraits of adolescents, and this was not the shy type she was looking for. But not wanting to disappoint, she photographed the girl anyway, and assumed the session was a failure. Only later did she realize that the shot of the girl, in a pose reminiscent of Botticelli’s “Birth of Venus,” in an orange bikini with her stomach sucked in and a stricken expression on her face, had just the unguarded quality she was after.

“You could see she was trying so hard to answer to a specific image — trying to look like perfection,” Ms. Dijkstra said. “It was in herself. It was in her culture. For me, it was so much about America.” READ MORE

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