IT'S A FACT. WHEN IT COMES TO LIBERAL THINKING, FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION AND BREAKING BOUNDARIES, WE CAN SAFELY LEAVE IT UP THE DUTCH. THE SMALL COUNTRY IN THE NORTH OF EUROPE IS KNOWN FOR ITS FREE-THINKING AND NO-NONSENSE ATTITUDE. AND SO WHEN IT COMES TO ARTISTIC EXPRESSIONS OF SEX AND EROTICA, THE DUTCH CERTAINLY DON'T MINCE THEIR WORDS. IT IS REFRESHING, REALLY.
Jan Griffioen only started his photographic explorations at later age. Born in 1942, in a hamlet in The Netherlands, Jan made his first career as teacher of Dutch language and literature at university and secondary education. It wasn’t before his early 40’s that he answered his internal call that brought him on the path in search of beauty. Which he found in photography.
In 1989 Jan Griffioen started a photography enterprise and did sacred architecture and male nudes as free work. Male photography isn’t easy and it took Jan a long time to get to the point where he is today. “I am a great admirer of the male body. It is a fantastic work to see nude male bodies, to light them in an appropriate way and to realize a two-dimensional image. It is fantastic to work with men who are willing to expose themselves to me and to the world, who inspire me, who stimulate my creativity and with whom I can have a real human interaction.” For Jan, male nude photography is nearly the only situation in life of a perfect cooperation and the same intention: making beautiful pictures. Aware of the fact that many consider male nudes as a grey area between artistic and pornographic photography, Jan Griffioen has made it his personal goal to celebrate the joy of beauty and eroticism. “I try to keep off pornography, not for moral reasons or because I shouldn't like it, but because I first and fore all want to make beautiful photos.”
The challenge Jan Griffioen has set for himself is to explore that often thin line between fine art and pornography. The question remains the same. When does one becomes the other. Does fine art stop with full frontal and pornography start with erections? Or can the bar be pushed a bit further and should we draw the line when it comes to sexual action and intercourse? Where does one end and the other begin? Jan explores and while doing so, he creates, with experience and knowledge, wonderful portraits of male nudes with only one objective: creating a thing of beauty that is and always will be a joy forever. –BM-
JAN GRIFFIOEN | BEAUTIFULMAG