Koos Breukel (1962– ) studied at the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague from 1982 until 1986, after which he began working as a freelance photographer in Amsterdam. Breukel is among the most well-known Dutch portrait photographers. His work is driven by his genuine interest in other people; Breukel photographs because he wants to understand the struggles people have experienced. He captures his subjects with compassion and respect, which results in images that possess a silent, introspective impression and pose questions about their past.
“Be born, grow up, develop and express oneself, love, suffer and die. This is a major drive in my work.” So says Dutch photographer Koos Breukel of his painting-like portraits. Reminiscent of the Dutch portrait paintings of the 17th century, Breukel’s simple, direct presentation—unlike that of the more formal portraiture of that age—is arresting in its simplicity and humility.