We are a pair of Dutch artists who have been presenting our work under a composite name since 1997. We prefer to work without a preconceived plan or subject. We each select fragments of images from a digitalized library we built up over the years, then, independently from each other, we each start to investigate whether the selected image-fragments can be composed into a concept for a new work. We frequently exchange the works so that one continues where the other has left off.The reasons for working in black and white are manifold. First of all, we want our work to be midway between photography and drawing or painting. We also value the contrast between advanced computer techniques and the slightly nostalgic feel of black and white images, enabling us to increase the distance between art and reality.
As our work deals with the fundamental aspects of human existence, be it man or woman, sexual identity is not our issue. Ambiguity, however, is very important for us, as it creates room for interpretation and identification.
—Schilte & Portielje
Editor's note: We first discovered Schilte & Portielje's work at Unseen Photo Fair 2013 in Amsterdam.