Katinka Lampe paints portraits in large formats, but her work is actually a hybrid of painting and photography – and there is a tension between those two ways of representing a sitter. Though she takes photographs of her models as her starting point, she is concerned not with achieving a perfect likeness but, on the contrary, with emphasizing a degree of artificiality and achieving an effect of alienation. Her heads of children and teenagers usually show them wearing headgear in the shape of some kind of shawl or balaclava, or accessories such as sunglasses, but it is often the face and hair that capture our attention. There is a curious interaction between two- and three-dimensionality, between soft and hard.
This book about Lampe’s work has an atmosphere redolent of a glossy magazine. The design, by 75B of Rotterdam, is not afraid of the grand gesture in the manner in which the paintings are reproduced and laid out on the pages. The panel saw this as not only bold but also highly appropriate to the character of the work, which remains at all times far removed from sentimentality. This is in refreshing contrast to so many other books about artists that have distinguished themselves by an all too precious approach, leaving one with an impression of being almost over-designed.