From January 17, 2019 the Groninger Museum presents the exhibition DVOTION by the famous Dutch photographer Claude Vanheye, who celebrates his 50th anniversary with this exhibition. He has made iconic photos of Jimi Hendrix, John Lennon, Frank Zappa, David Bowie, Mick Jagger, Grace Jones, Kate Bush, Michael Jackson and many other pop legends. In the last years Vanheye has made a remarkable series of portraits of world-famous DJs, which will be exhibited internationally under the collective name DVOTION. In the context of ESNS Art, the first selection of 16 photographs from the DVOTION series will be shown for the first time in the Groninger Museum.
DVOTION shows his portraits of top international DJs like David Guetta, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Sven Väth, Adam Beyer and of course Dutch dance heroes like Martin Garrix, Afrojack, Armin van Buuren and Oliver Heldens.
Vanheye does not necessarily want to place as much dynamic as possible in the image, as the average DJ-photographer strives for, but rather the opposite: total silence, a freeze frame in which the DJ is frozen in the moment. This makes the photos somewhat reminiscent of Renaissance portraits, sometimes with romantic or sensual expressions.
Claude Vanheye, a laureate photographer of legendary rock and pop stars, first came into contact with the then new world of dance music in 1998 by the Faithless group. At Paradiso show he was seized by the power of their charismatic rapper / singer Maxwell Frazer. “I’ve never been so impressed by how musicians can get their audience into a trance.”
After that he visited the dance event Sensation at the Amsterdam Arena every year, but he never knew how to capture what he saw in his own way. In 2014, Vanheye photographed for the first time at Sensation, where he could closely follow the DJ (Fedde Le Grand), with a 400mm telephoto lens that he was actually testing for another assignment. At that moment he knew immediately how he would always want to record the DJs.
He remembered that first time with Faithless and inspired by their song ‘God Is A Dj’, he records a DJ as a modern high priest, who with his music brings the audience into an almost religious hypnosis. In this way he started to photograph them from that moment on and so the title of his project DVOTION – dedication came into being.