A beautiful and unique collection of floral landscapes was recently shot by Ron Van Dongen. Van Dongen used the technique of shallow depth of field in each image to bring a delicate and mesmerizing effect.
Whether in basic arrangements or with advanced printing methods, Van Dongen summons visual experiences that mirror the struggles and intricacies of daily life, a metaphor in the simple but profound beauty of a flower. His seductive floral series uncovers mysteries and enigmas of our ambivalent relationship with nature that seesaws from nurturing and abuse.
Van Dongen was born in Judibana, Venezuela in 1961 and grew up in Warmond, the Netherlands. He took-up photography at the Academy of Art College in San Francisco and at the preset time lives in Portland, Oregon.
His website reveals a fascination with flowers, as he includes a quote from the musings of a famous literary figure. “Until we can comprehend the beguiling beauty of a single flower, we are woefully unable to grasp the meaning and potential of life itself,” a quote from English writer and one of the foremost modernists of the twentieth century, Virginia Woolf.
After creating his own garden, Van Dongen started to photograph flowers more often. His photos of still flowers are reminiscent of master photographers such as Atget, Julia Margaret Cameron, and Joel Peter Witkin, but they are also filled with a modern feel and exude an obvious mastery of modern photographic methods.
The flowers themselves are transformed into landscapes revealing changing textures and subtle dances of light. It is evident that the Van Dongen is quite taken by his floral subjects.
His unique work has appeared in publications like Provacateur, Foto Nederland, and View Camera. His exquisitely printed new book, Alba Nero (Nazraeli Press, 1999) is available for purchase over on his website.