Nowadays being a model is not just being a pretty face on a picture or that gorgeous girl walking the runway. In today’s version of what a model is, she needs to not just have beauty, but brains to compliment it all.
Dutch supermodel Saskia de Brauw is a renowned model who was not only one of our cover stars in our explosively hot cover last issue but has been at the top of the modelling industry, having fronted campaigns for brands like Givenchy, Versace, Chanel, Fendi and Prada. But now the model is coming into her own with an art book.
Debuting a book featuring her art entitled The Accidental Fold, it features scans of discarded objects that de Brauw, who studied fine arts at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam, has picked up on her travels. The self-published book is a sensitive exploration of her archival artistic practice, filled with the natural and man-made debris that she herself has collected on her travels and, as a model, she must have had many opportunities to travel to some of the most amazing places in the world. Pictures such as pieces of trash ranging from paper scraps to a rusty CD are done artistically and shot beautifully. Every shot has a quiet elegance to it despite the object but every picture is captured in a somewhat eerily beautiful manner.
The Accidental Fold is comprised of an artfully pieced-together collection of her scans and observations over time. It’s been done in collaboration with design expert Erik Haberfeld who lent his unique eye as creative director for brands like Lacoste and Van Cleef & Arpels.
A poignant and personal art book, and a testament to de Brauw’s dedicated methodologies, with over six years of photographic and poetic observations recorded within its pages, the book is extremely personal. De Brauw’s story is unique, her world and works captivate and draw you in. This book allows you to discover the model beyond the superficiality that the fashion world sometimes portrays a model to be as you discover her as an artist with a certain fragility and gentle kindness.
Haberfeld’s has helped transform Saskia’s archives into dynamic works of modern art which comes with texts written by the model herself in the form of poetic passages. Her writings suggest an eerie depiction of herself as the lonely traveler who doesn’t speak the language. Most of the other objects that she’s selected can rightly be called trivial or trash, but the pages of The Accidental Fold point out the shocking beauty in each and this collection of works is seen as being a road map of the places her exciting career has taken her. After flipping through the book, one would realise that we should never look at something trivial the same way and everything, even the most vapid or boring item has its chance to become an art piece when seen in another light.
In a world where we see models living the jet-set lifestyle live through their Instagram, Snapchat and more, one would imagine every model is living the life of glamour and endless parties, but de Brauw has given some substance to model’s taking images. Captured with the small handheld scanner that de Brauw has carried around the world, it’s a far cry from the hundreds of model selfies we have seen countless of times which has become a bore. Seeing de Brauw’s perspective on mundane items somehow lets us into de Brauw’s world and what it is like within the model’s sensual memory map. Who knew that de Brauw’s love for collecting could be transformed into a true form of art.
words by IEVAN DARWIN