Laura Koolen (b.1995, the Netherlands) is a Dutch photographer who started as a graphic designer and recently graduated at the PhotoAcademy. Koolen uses staged photography to challenge social taboos and delve into human frailty. In her graduation project ‘Perfection’, she explores the unrealistic ideal of beauty in society driven by perfection.
The series contains a combination of studio portraits, still lifes and surreal landscapes which together find harmony in Koolen’s apply of pastel colours, painterly lighting, formalist composition and styling.
Working in a studio provides Koolen with the opportunity to stage her own fantasies and blur the boundary between real and unreal, leaving her photographs submerged with an uncanny tension. The message: a quest for perfections will inevitably result in a lack of authenticity.
Koolen portrays people who look different from the models as propagated in the mainstream media. But she brings their imperfections – due to alopecia, cheiloschis