Yvonne Michiels


yvonne michiels

In her art, Dutch photographer Yvonne Michiels tells personal stories about beauty, emotions and mortality. She uses topical examples from modern society. This results in aesthetic, innovative portraits that are not only fascinating, but also moving. 


Yvonne’s technique allows her to imbue her portraits with multiple layers of meaning. Thus, the viewer is continually challenged to look further, to uncover the dimensions hidden in the work.


Yvonne Michiels portrays highly fashion-conscious women who view the world with a confident eye. These women comply with the dominant ideal of beauty achievable through make-up, fashion and plastic surgery. Thus, they look perfect. However, appearances can be deceiving. The perfect facades conceal feelings of insecurity, despair and vulnerability. As slavish fashion victims, these women suffer from the compulsion to strive for the – partially self-imposed – ideal image. 


Flowers are the ultimate example of vulnerability. They are only beautiful for a short time and then they decay. Yvonne uses fragments from the paintings of seventeenth-century Dutch master. She provides her immaculate "afro portraits" with the colorful, painted bouquets, complete with visible crackle in the paint. It provides a beautiful contrast between old and new.


In order to heighten the emotional charge of her pictures, Yvonne often uses young models. Their honest innocence and insecurity underscore the major theme of vulnerability in Yvonne’s work.