Isabelle van Zeijl most recent works explore the magical beauty that dominates the twenty-first century, blended with historical views of beauty. As a young girl she grew up amongst strong influences from Art and Fashion. She was fascinated by the models in glossy magazines with their smooth skin and desirable looks, as if they did not exist in a real world, but somewhere in a supernatural world. The Supermodels of the 1980s and 1990s were dressed up, wearing big hair and make up in accordance with the canons of fashion. At the same time Isabelle van Zeijl looked for hours at the magical women in the paintings of Botticelli, Da Vinci and Fontainebleau. Fascinated by the strength and simultaneous vulnerability of these female icons of the past, Isabelle van Zeijl blends these role models of beauty and transforms them to define a contemporary way of seeing beauty with a strong sense of the past.
In her practice Isabelle van Zeijl observes her subject, until she reaches the domain of the soul of the portrayed. At this level there is only one witness, one being. Her unique style of photography is about capturing that true moment, the soul revealed to you. As we look at this girl portrayed in Supermodel II we are witnessing that moment. The girl sitting on her knees, looking at us like a young deer discovered in its own natural safe habitat. It is this precious moment of solitude and silence where we find purified beauty.
The girl undone from clothing, the white collar makes a link to the traditonal symbols of fashion ideas of the past; the aesthetic splendour of the big, sculptural, red hair as a symbol of youthfulness, is a quality that has been considered both desirable and dangerous throughout history. The smoothness of the skin, the vulnerability of her being, her greatness inside are palpable. Combining multiple perspectives from which to look at beauty, Isabelle van Zeijl re-invents a timeless Supermodel. This girl is a true icon of today’s idea of beauty.