Childhood Lost


Portraits of children have fascinated photographers since the dawn of the medium. One thinks of the controversial images taken by Lewis Carroll of Alice Liddell circa 1850.


In recent years we have Sally Mann’s equally controversail portraits.


Julie Blackmon’s “domestic” tableaux…


And the strikingly surreal photos by German photographer Loretta Lux…


To this genre we must add the Dutch photographer Hellen van Meene.

photo by Hellen van Meene

German publisher Schirmer/Mosel Verlag has just released a new collection of portraits: Hellen van Meene: tout va disparaître. (The book is distributed in the US by Prestel)
The title in translation: “Everything will disappear.”  Or one might say… this strange  puberty too shall  pass.  Van Meene’s images capture the isolation and  alien awkwardness of childhood—imbued with forboding and sadness. These frozen moments are mortal shards that resonate…echo like the sound of footsteps racing into the future.

The portraits in tout va disparaître were shot in the  USA, Russia, and the Netherlands. You can order a copy of the book from Amazon here.