This article was published on June 10th, 2021
On June 13th, Vancouver-based photographer Hannes van der Merwe is launching his fine art prints virtual gallery during Pride season with Brave, an online showing of male nudes. The launch, set to be hosted by Hollywood actor Terry Ray and Canadian soul singer Dawn Pemberton, is set to be an interactive experience that reconnects with established patrons and welcomes in burgeoning art collectors.
Brave pushes new boundaries for the photographer, who perservered through his own insecurities and fears to produce what has already been heralded as breaking down cultural norms with grit and determination. According to van der Merwe, the men in his photos that chose to be photographed in the nude are the true brave people in the narrative, displaying their natural state without any clothes, concerns, or constraints.
In a further sign of trust, they gave over complete creative control to process the images and realize his artistic vision in full. The mission of van der Merwe when photographing the nude form is to create beautiful imagery, but it also serves as a way for him to find his own place on the spectrum of masculinity.
Virtually Deconstructing Gender
Van der Merwe’s Brave deconstructs the traditional notion of gender and confronts it in titillating fashion. The images and creative direction are prescient and revelatory in scope, ushering viewers through a visual journey that resonates. Choosing not to conform to staid ideas on masculinity and identity, the images seek to shatter expectations and present a layered viewpoint on gender and its perception in society.
Great Art Seeks Home
The online gallery opening will take place on Zoom, Sunday June 13 at 11:00 am PDT (2:00pm EDT). Hannes will discuss his work and the hosts will do a walk-through of the virtual gallery. In the age of COVID, art galleries have revamped their traditional exhibitions to include virtual openings that have the potential to reach the four corners of the earth. As an interactive experience between the artist and the audience, art lovers and bourgeoning enthusiasts can take the opportunity to invest in statement imagery that is dramatic and powerful.
Less is the new more and progressive minimalism are tenets displayed in van der Merwe’s Brave series, resonating in a subtle yet expansive way. The images are meant to challenge the current status quo on gender and our own unique place on the spectrum and how we inhabit that space.
Attendees can ask both the artist and models about specific works. A 25% discount on all orders will be placed during the virtual exhibition.
Admission is free. The zoom link for Brave will be posted on the Hannes van der Merwe Fine Art Prints website.