Sanne Sannes, Untitled 1962-1965 © Sanne Sannes / courtesy Kahmann Gallery.

A Promising Photography Practice of Erotica and the Nude Cut Short

Sanne Sannes, Untitled 1962-1965 © Sanne Sannes / courtesy Kahmann Gallery.

Sanne Sannes, Untitled 1962-1965 © Sanne Sannes / courtesy Kahmann Gallery.

 

Foam_Fotografiemuseum
Keizersgracht 609
+31 (0)20 551 6500
Amsterdam
Sanne Sannes –
Darkness & Light

October 30-
December 9, 2009

Dutch photographer Sanne Sannes (1937-1967) earned a name for himself in the early 1960s with his grainy, erotic portraits. He was viewed as an extremely promising photographer of the new generation characterised by the freedom of the 1960s. Women were his favourite subjects and an endless source of inspiration. In a nearly obsessive way, he photographed them time after time during ecstatic sessions, often in the nude, recording their most intimate moments. This intimacy was emphasized in out-of-focus and underexposed photos because Sannes worked with existing light and always with a hand-held camera.

Sannes worked on exhibitions both in the Netherlands and beyond its borders. Due to his untimely death, he never truly achieved an international breakthrough — he died in a car accident at the age of thirty. Even though his career was not a long one, the oeuvre he built up was nevertheless of the finest quality. The Foam exhibition shows a cross-section of this work. Part of the mock-up of Sannes’ never-published photo book Dagboek van een erotomaan [Diary of a Erotomaniac] will also be on display.

Sanne Sannes was born in 1937 in The Netherlands.  His brief career, ending abruptly when he died in a motorcycle accident at age 30, focused on his taste for the erotic and a fascination with women. His voyeuristic style reflects the morals and atmosphere of the sixties, which provided an inspiration for his models as well as himself.  Sannes exhibited an intensely poetic eye for women.  He explored aspects of sexual passion and human nature, and described his approach as follows:

There are many men who’ll never see a woman in ecstasy. They change from one thing to something else completely different.  Human emotions are my subject matter. I photograph people.  They’re what interest me, obsess me.  I want to know what pushes them to do what they do. I don’t look for them in the street; I don’t do random photography. I direct them and record the moment they open up and become naked. I chose the most emotionally charged moments, the point of no return. I’m fanatically zealous!

— Sanne Sannes

Sannes’ work is most well-known through his publications, Sex a Gogo, published in 1969, two years after his death, and Oog om oog (Eye for eye) which was published a few years prior.  A limited-edition monograph of 2000 copies was published in 1993 with extensive photographic and bibliographic information using Sannes’ original photographs for the book’s reproductions.

 

Sanne Sannes, Untitled 1962-1965 © Sanne Sannes / courtesy Kahmann Gallery.