Artist of the Month: Misha De Ridder

Posted July 9th, 2013 under Featured, Festival

misha de ridder moon
As the ikono On Air Festival is moving closer it’s about time to have a closer look at some of the more than 100 artists participating and one of them is obviously Misha De Ridder, our artist of the month August. We are quite happy to be able to show you some films by this incredible Dutch photographer, who has taken pictures all across Alaska, Norway, and Switzerland, which capture the last few untouched environments left on this planet and the natural rythmn of the landscapes.

Sometimes natural phenomena can become so estranged and mysterious, that we are inclined to describe them as unreal realities. It might be the extraordinary shape of a tree, a mountain, a shadow, a cloud or the mirroring reflection of nature in a lake, but it is foremost the unfamiliarity of the natural aesthetics of reality. Misha de Ridder’s works can be seen as attempts to capture these temporary phenomena and atmospheres of nature within the still medium of photography. By seeking for the absence of human intervention, by waiting for the climax of the temporal aesthetic and by pushing the camera to its technical limits De Ridder’s photographs become both exotic reports as autonomous artificial worlds.

“To search, to disclose and to write with light is what Misha de Ridder does in his landscape photos and videos. He does not seek the comfort zone of the beautiful and picturesque, but the sublime. It is a quest for entering into a confrontation with nature as a given larger than ourselves, to re-visualize a greatness that is both realistic but also inconceivable. Landscape is a paradox: how can we hold as an image what perhaps can’t be photographed, the change of light for example, or the tactility of the landscape. The greatness lifts us beyond borders we are not always able to comprehend, not mentally, nor in feeling. Landscape is not only seen, but is a multi-sensory experience with knowledge and craft.”
- Professor Erik A. de Jong, opening speech ‘Solstice’ FOAM, 2011

“As an artist, De Ridder makes images that could easily become saccharine calendar art or empty exercises in sublime kitsch. Arctic sunsets, verdant dunes and dense forests have all been De Ridder’s subjects, but he has always succeeded in pushing them to a new level and forced us to look again – either through inventive design in the case of Wilderness or editorial restraint and focus, as in the case of Dune. In some ways, De Ridder’s works are so forcefully anachronistic that they are contemporary. It takes a brave and talented soul to tackle the sublime landscape and succeed like De Ridder.”
- Adam Bell, PhotoEye Magazine, 2011

On Air: Misha De Ridder

The ikono On Air Festival will present four films by Misha De Ridder:

Golden (10:47 min)
Misha De Ridder
During sunset the changing of the light becomes tangible.

Asgard (8:29 min.)
Misha De Ridder
Storm clouds shadow play.

White Silence (8.01 min.)
Misha De Ridder
After the snow, mountains slowly reveal.

Raftsundet (4.55 min.)
Misha De Ridder
Dissociation from the wild.

Misha De Ridder said in an interview for Dazed Digital that he “was influenced by the German Düsseldorfer school: Andreas Gurski, Bernd and Hilla Becher, Thomas Ruff, etc. Later I moved away from them because I think they have too much distance to their subject. I want people to have the feeling that they are in the landscape when they look at my work, it has to be about experience, that somehow you connect. Also American photographer William Eggleston was an early inspiration – Hiroshi Sugimoto is great, especially the seascapes from 7 days / 7 nights. Mostly I like painters, seventeenth century Jacob van Ruysdael is fantastic, but also Gerhard Richter or Soll Lewitt and lots and lots more. There is so much great painting. Part of me is also rooted in land art, take for example James Turell’s project Roden Crater, the idea of modifying a volcano only to sculpt how the light falls in the interior, the sheer scale of that. Regarding film, Werner Herzog is a favourite, not to forget David Claerbout.”

Misha de Ridder (1971, Alkmaar, The Netherlands) lives in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
De Ridder exhibited at Juliètte Jongma Gallery, Layr Wuestenhagen Contemporary, PhotoEspaña, the Triennial of Photography Hamburg, Noorderlicht Photofestival, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Foam photography museum Amsterdam, The Museum of the City of New York. -> Homepage of the artist


Photobooks by Misha de Ridder: Sightseeing (2000, De Balie), Wilderness (2003, Artimo),
Dune (2011, Lay Flat), Abendsonne (2011,, Solstice (2012, Native Publications).



Lay Flat partners with Paper Tactics to bring you this video interview with Misha de Ridder about his limited edition artist book entitled DUNE (Lay Flat, 2011).


Publisher, 2011

Design Mevis & Van Deursen
, ISBN 978-3-932187-88-9


Misha de Ridder’s photobook “A” was shown at Workflow Studio in Brighton in December 2011.

I Love Alaska – The heartbreaking search history of AOL user #711391

This is a sweet and rather unknown film Misha de Ridder worked on as a camera man.

August 4, 2006, the personal search queries of 650,000 AOL (America Online) users accidentally ended up on the Internet, for all to see. These search queries were entered in AOL’s search engine over a three-month period. After three days AOL realized their blunder and removed the data from their site, but the sensitive private data had already leaked to several other sites.

I love Alaska tells the story of one of those AOL users. We get to know a religious middle-aged woman from Houston, Texas, who spends her days at home behind her TV and computer. Her unique style of phrasing combined with her putting her ideas, convictions and obsessions into AOL’s search engine, turn her personal story into a disconcerting novel of sorts.
Over a period of three months, a portrait of a woman emerges who is diligently searching for likeminded souls. The list of her search queries read aloud by a voice-over reads like a revealing character study of a somewhat obese middle-aged lady in her menopause, who is looking for a way to rejuvenate her sex life. In the end, when she cheats on her husband with a man she met online, her life seems to crumble around her. She regrets her deceit, admits to her Internet addiction and dreams of a new life in Alaska.

Lernert Engelberts
, Sander Plug
Misha de Ridder
Second Editor:
Sander Cijsouw

Image on top of page by Misha de Ridder, Solstice, 2011
Taken from Foam Press, Courtesy Galerie Juliette Jongma Amsterdam
© Misha de Ridder