Collection: Ruud van Empel

Ruud van Empel is a contemporary Dutch artist. Characterized by an elaborate process of collage, van Empel’s works combine multiple self-shot photographic sources into one figurative image using Photoshop and other digital means. His oeuvre addresses themes and influences such as Magical Realism, Surrealism, and traditional Western portraiture, resulting in photographs that are at once uncanny and familiar. His uniquely flattened depictions of women and children in strange, jarring settings contain a permeating sense of unease, often turning the viewer into a confronted voyeur. Born on November 21, 1958 in Breda, the Netherlands, he went on to study at the Academie St. Joost and initially work in commercial graphic design and videography. Van Empfel’s work is collected by numerous institutions worldwide, such as the C-Photo Collection in London, the Chaney Collection in Houston, and the Alturas Foundation in San Antonio. He is also the recipient of several awards, including the Municipality of Breda Oevre Award in 2013. Van Empel currently works and lives in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.