The Art of Seduction

Carli Hermès • 25 years of world-class photography

03.11.2013 to 26.01.2014

Erotic, contemporary, alienating, and seductive have been the main characteristics of top photographer Carli Hermès’s work for 25 years. Whether commissioned or created on his own initiative, his images are always stimulating, exciting and styled in surprising ways. From 3 November 2013 until 26 January 2014 the exhibition The Art of Seduction – Carli Hermès, 25 years of world-class photography in CODA Museum will show an overview of Carli Hermès’s photo and film oeuvre in a museological context.

Eroticism and alienation
Water, fire, stylish interiors and desert landscapes form surreal settings in which dreams appear to come true. The desire to be able to fly, and thus defy gravity, is a recurring theme in Carli Hermès’s images. With bold shapes, colours and human expression he tells a story of and about people.

Eroticism and an alienating reality play an important role in his work. It is almost impossible to distinguish between the autonomous artist working independently and the photographer producing an advertising campaign for a client. They stem from each other and flow into one another. Carli Hermès shares this trait with contemporaries like Inez van Lamsweerde and Erwin Olaf.

Controversial campaigns
Hermès’s career got off to a flying start in 1992 with two television ads for Droste Cocoa. In these ads, he combines motherhood with eroticism and lets teenagers kiss with abandon. The seduction expressed in this work is intense and it will continue to play an important role in his later work. The Reclame Code Commissie (a commission that supervises advertising in the Netherlands) eventually banned the ads from television. A few years later, he was called to account again in connection with the controversial advertisements for Suit Supply.

Gallery images: Sushilla Kouwen | Gerhard Witteveen fotografie

Carli Hermès

Carli Hermès (Schijndel, 23 April 1963) studied photography at the Royal Academy for Visual Arts in The Hague and the Bournemouth School of Art in England. He achieved international fame with his advertising photography for brands like Martini, Philips, Nike, Suit Supply and KLM. He has also made photo reports for leading international fashion magazines and portrays (international) celebrities. In addition to this, he develops visual campaigns for idealistic organisations, like Oxfam Novib.

Moreover, Carli Hermès works as a director of commercials and videos for brands like G-Star, Royal Club and NS (Dutch Railways). He was a judge on the television programme Holland’s Next Top Model from 2006 to 2007. Hermès is a pioneer of the so-called ‘Photoshop generation’, which uses computer programmes to edit and manipulate images.

Carli Hermès’s work is exhibited in several museums and galleries, including the Groninger Museum, Galerie Rademakers in Amsterdam, and the Kunsthal in Rotterdam. A number of museums, including the Groninger Museum, purchased works by Hermès.

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