LASALLE BANK, N.A.
Rineke Dijkstra: Beach Portraits
Photographs by Rineke Dijkstra. Text by James Rondeau, Carol Ehlers, Thomas Heagy.
Tall, skinny, short, round, squat, awkward, slouched, tanned, bashful, and sometimes unknowingly beautiful, the adolescents in Rineke Dijkstra's Beach Portraits stand alone, the ocean rolling behind them. Clad in little more than bathing suits, these young people are striking to behold. Remarkably clear and formally classical, each subject is frontally posed and shot straight on; the resulting photographs participate in a cold, quasi-scientific categorization reminiscent of the work of August Sander and Thomas Ruff. Yet Dijkstra's pictures are not just that--there is also something of the eccentric in them, something that comes closer to Diane Arbus's images. Seen together, the complete series of 20 Beach Portraits creates a kind of collective portrait of the existential insecurity and awkward beauty of youth.