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Photographer Max Kraanen is fascinated by the role fear plays in society and in his work explores how fear and threat affect us. Using a variety of analogue and darkroom techniques to create his images, stretching the limits of photography, he makes pictures that can be strangely aesthetic but often have a darker side. The craft of photography itself and the act of taking a picture plays a big part in his work. Waiting hours for the right moment, on the exactly the right spot, he only takes one shot, one that must be perfect.


“For the ongoing project 'The Ocean Keeps Calling'I traveled by train throughout Europe with my 4x5 camera as my travel companion. I've searched the continent for situations that allowed experiencing a timeless moment.”

In his photo series ‘So it Goes’, Kraanen explores human fears and the influence of the unknown on people. Dark unrecognizable places, alienating close-ups and mysterious nature together create an uncomfortable feeling of disquiet. It is this feeling that fascinates Kraanen and which he wants to share with the spectator.


So it Goes
Welcome to Day One of Happiness

Welcome to Day One of Happiness, where the sun is shining and the sea is blue, is a project in which Max Kraanen explores the multifaceted idea of happiness. He is intrigued by the inexplicable concepts and evasive nature of happiness.

He used his intuitive connection with the ocean as a starting point to investigate why we feel the urge to make the pursuit of happiness a principle goal in our lives. His ambivalent relationship with happiness has resulted in an installation of 1000 Polaroids. On first sight the images form a homogeneous mass, on closer inspection they are all unique.

Max Kraanen considers Welcome to Day One of Happiness to be a living organism that will evolve over time and eventually perish. The shapes of the installation are obtained by the interaction with the public and therefore it leads its own life.

The Ocean Keeps Calling

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