Following her studies at the fashion academy, DANIELLE KWAAITAAL (1964, Bussum) completed her studies at the Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam in 1991. With her graduation project Bodyscapes, she was well ahead of her time. Kwaaitaal, who has been experimenting with the computer program Paintbox since the 1980s, is a pioneer in the field of digitally manipulated photography. Her project certainly did not go unnoticed, as the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam (Municipal Museum) immediately purchased a work from the series.
One year later, Kwaaitaal had her first solo exhibition at the Bloom Gallery in Amsterdam, which in those days was a prominent gallery and a very important platform for young talent. Around the same time, she caused a stir as a VJ in metropolitan clubs, such as Escape in Amsterdam and in Ibiza. In 2004, documentary filmmaker Jenne Sipman portrayed her as one of the driving forces of the house scene of the nineties.
International recognition followed shortly thereafter. Kwaaitaal's work could be seen in many solo and group exhibitions. Whispering Waters (2009) in the Groninger Museum can be considered Kwaaitaals programmatic calling card. Three themes were featured, encompassing her entire oeuvre: skin, gravity, and - perhaps the most significant - her relationship with the art of painting.
Hidden Series (2012) was the title of her solo exhibition at the Museum Foundation, where she presented portraits of 12-year-olds, among others. In this series, Kwaaitaal focused on identity, intimacy, and emerging beauty.
Photo Festival Naarden selected Kwaaitaal's series Apres Nous Le Déluge for its 2015 edition. The series of still lifes of flowers, for which this time Photoshop was not used, had an unmistakably painterly touch.
In 2016, the artist exhibited photos in the Drents Museum with a new series of photos titled ABOVE & BEYOND. For this exhibition, she collaborated with fourteen other artists from various disciplines.
In 2017 and 2018, flowers continued to be a significant theme in her work, as she worked exclusively on her underwater still lifes series BLACK OUT and FLORILEGIUM. These series have been exhibited frequently, and works from it have been sold in the Netherlands as well as abroad. The book FLORILEGIUM, which is completely dedicated to this extensive series, is expected to be published at the end of 2020.
In her new underwater series ULTRAVIOLET (2020), Kwaaitaal goes in a completely new artistic direction. Flowers have given way to glass vases and ceramic jars. She focuses on her choice of the shapes and contours of the objects, followed by her choice of materials; transparent or solid. We can see subtle shades of light and dark, translucent and opaque. These works are created with a true painter's eye. With Ultravoilet, Kwaaitaal appears to move further and further away from her initial medium, photography. This might be why many view this series as an important moment in her artistic development; her Magnum Opus.
Danielle Kwaaitaal's works are part of several collections of museums and companies in the Netherlands and abroad. Multiple works from the Florilegium and Ultravoilet series were recently acquired for the extensive art collection of the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations. Apart from autonomous work, Kwaaitaal also takes on commission work. Her commissioned pieces range from intimate portrait photography to monumental installations. In 2008, she created Tracing Reality for Schiphol Airport Amsterdam, which covers 450 square meters of the glass facade near Pier B, and is seen by well over six million travelers annually.
Danielle Kwaaitaal is represented in the Netherlands by Francis Boeske Projects.