Koos Breukel is among the best-known Dutch portrait photographers. He photographs everyone from children and students to writers, yachtsmen and transsexuals. This year he created the first official portrait photographs of King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima of the Netherlands. In this forthcoming retrospective, Me We – The Circle of Life, he will tell a universal but at the same time highly personal life story based on approximately 200 of his portrait photographs.

The exhibition will include a selection of portraits made over the last 30 years, many of which have never previously been on show to the public. Every aspect of life – from birth and joy, to sickness and death – will be given equal prominence, making the exhibition a kind of alternative, universal family photo album. In this respect, Me We – The Circle of Life will be a perfect companion piece to the Netherlands’ first national Photo Week, entitled “Look! My Family” and taking place from 20 to 29 September 2013.

Koos Breukel (b. The Hague, 1962) is the "other" Dutch portrait photographer. Just like his colleague and friend Rineke Dijkstra, his portraits are never superficial. They are not mercilessly revelatory images, but unprejudiced portraits that do justice to the individual, the traces left by his or her life and, above all, his or her personal dignity. In Me We – The Circle of Life, pictures of unknown people and celebrities will be shown side by side. Breukel will also exhibit personal objects, such as ‘secret’ family photos of his mother and his own drum kit. The studio in his living room, an inextricable part of his daily life, will now be transported to the museum and visitors will be able to have their portraits taken in it by Breukel on the third Sunday of every month.

The exhibition is accompanied by Me We, a photo book, containing essays by Erwin Mortier and Hedy van Erp.

Koos Breukel’s Me We – The Circle of Life is a Paradox production curated by Bas Vroege. The exhibition is sponsored by the Mondriaan Fund, SNS REAAL Fund and Eyes on Media.

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