Paul Blanca
Paul Blanca

Paul Blanca – AbrahamArt Gallery & Art Lease

Paul Blanca was born Paul Vlaswinkel in 1958. Blanca is a Dutch art photographer who had a breakthrough in the early eighties with his confrontational and violent self-portraits, influenced by the famous American photographers Robert Mapplethorpe and Andres Serrano.

The self-thoughtful Paul Blanca came into contact with the arts scene when he met Eva Fransooijs, the daughter of the famous Dutch painter Aat Fransooijs. The introduction to this artistic environment was a real eye-opener for Paul Blanca and shortly afterwards he began to photograph, first in color with a small screen camera, but soon afterwards in black and white with a Hasselblad camera.

In 1980 Paul Blanca proposed to the world known choreographer Hans van Manen, to work as photographer in his private photo studio. In addition to their joint interest in photography Manen used Paul Blanca also as a kickboxer in one of his dance choreographs called Pose. Paul Blanca practiced this full-contact sport ever since his was 16.

Robert Mapplethorpe, a good friend of Hans van Manen was very impressed by Paul Blanca’s self-portraits and presented him later to the high society of New York, quoting ‘Paul Blanca is my only competitor.’ The art collector Bill Katz says in “True Colors Anthony Haden Guest’s – The Real Life or the Art World” about Paul Blanca: “… he reaches a kind of poetry that few artists have”.

In most of the self-portraits of Paul Blanca are strong emotions and violent themes as fear, sadness, pain, aggression and sexuality. Diametrically opposed to this works are the sensitive and soft photos, such as the so-called ‘mother and Son’ image of himself in a tender hug with his mother, both fully nude (Mapplethorpe’s favorite), or the portrait with his newborn son in the air, called ‘Father and son’.

In 1986 Paul Blanca worked on a book with the title Timing (published in a limited edition of 1000 by the Woelrat). His photographs were accompanied by poems of Koos Dalstra.

For his moving series ‘Par la Pluie des Femmes’ (1989) he asked his female models to think about their most traumatic experiences. Together with Hans Boeske Gieles and Francis Boeske from gallery ‘Vous êtes ici’, he produced the beautiful ‘Sangre The Toro’ series in 1991. During this time Paul Blanca also began as a research-journalist for the Amsterdam weekly Nieuwe Revu and the newspaper Het Parool. He wrote about crack reaching his own borders. His article for the Nieuwe Revu about weapons was the starting point of a downward spiral for Paul Blanca. To that followed a long silence, but in 2008 Paul Blanca came back with a project called ‘Mi Mattes’, in which he photographed gang members in his studio.

In the course of the years there seems to be a growing strength in Paul Blanca’s self-portraits. In 1982 he photographed himself with six live eels in his mouth (in his experience a disgusting animal). In the portrait he looks at the viewer with a facial expression if he is thinking “that is how it really is”.

Paul Blanca, who lived and worked in Spain for two years (in the early 1990) was obsessed by the bullfights and he was kept informed of all local seasonal festivals to take pictures. Blanca also participated in a bullfight, not with real bulls, but with dangerous Vacas of 850 pounds. That intrigued him when the bullfight was over, the meat of the bull was served in restaurants, but that nothing is being done with the blood. It is ultimately the liquid of life. Paul Blanca examined whether the blood could be used as screen printing ink. The treated blood was used for the ‘Sangre de Toro’ portfolio based on Blanca photos. By the ink got not more than a light pink color. It had to be applied 35 times to reach the darkest look on the photos. This created a relief. The series is the highlight of the photographic work of Paul Blanca.

Artworks by Paul Blanca
  • Paul Blanca
    • Geen titel 63 x 83 x 3 cm
    • Price:  € 950,00
    • Art lease:  from € 19,00 p/mnd
  • Paul Blanca
    • Geen titel 53 x 69 x 3 cm
    • Price:  € 950,00
    • Art lease:  from € 19,00 p/mnd
  • Paul Blanca
    • Geen titel 63 x 83 x 3 cm
    • Price:  € 950,00
    • Art lease:  from € 19,00 p/mnd
  • Paul Blanca
    • Lonniki 69 x 71 x 2 cm
    • Price:  € 950,00
    • Art lease:  from € 19,00 p/mnd

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